Thu, Jun 01, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Beware those bearing gifts

By Winne Hung

In recent defense reviews, both the US and Japan pointed to the military threat posed by China. Indeed, China's weapons build-up is about to upset the balance of forces in the Asia-Pacific region and directly influence adjacent nations, especially Taiwan.

China's military expansion frightens people in Taiwan. We worry that China is eventually going to push us to war. China says that it will launch an attack if Taiwan proclaims its independence. But will China actually follow through with its promise? Or are we already under attack?

In recent years, China has shown goodwill toward us, showering us with "gifts" including welcoming Taiwanese fruit into Chinese markets, promoting direct flights between the two sides, offering two pandas, and most recently, giving Taiwan a package of 15 economic benefits.

But think about these gifts. Why has China changed its attitude toward us and is now hell-bent on giving us these things? Why does China give us so much while leaving the majority of its own people impoverished?

We should do a little hard thinking about these questions before we happily accept China's "goodwill."

Countering China's offensive entails that we arm ourselves accordingly. But we cannot forget the importance of strengthening the public's will to resist.? China shows its "goodwill" to more and more people in Taiwan in order to acquire their support. This misleads people into thinking our own government is the cause of cross-strait tensions.

We can't neglect China's real intention behind its gifts. It is time for us to reinforce our principles and confidence. Stand beside the government! Insist on Taiwan's stance! Sell-ing our government short will cost us in the long run.

Winnie Hung

Taipei

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