Sun, Oct 21, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Chessboard politics

In an Oct. 11 interview with Fox News' Washington correspondent Jason Rosen, international chess champion and democracy activist Garry Kasparov looked to Taiwan (as opposed to China) as proof that authoritarianism can be overthrown and democracy can take root in any culture.

He contrasted the "flourishing democracy and market economy" in Taiwan and South Korea with the "brutal dictatorship" in China and North Korea. Drawing inspiration from Taiwan's model, he expressed the hope that democracy would also flourish in Russia.

So I hope Kasparov can be invited to Taiwan as a way of further educating Taiwanese citizens. Unfortunately, many people in Taiwan do not understand how precious their democracy is, but could consider endangering it for presumed economic profits.

Touting economic benefits seems to be the tactic that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has adopted to win votes, even though his proposed China policies could have corrosive effects on Taiwan's democracy.

Joel Linton

Taipei

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