Thu, Jul 07, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Obama turning away from Taiwan

By John Copper

Liberals don’t like Asians. Asians are basically conservative: They don’t like big and intrusive government and despise high taxes and welfare. Asians espouse strong family values. They are not egalitarian.

When Asians are asked what they don’t like about the US, their top answer is affirmative action and quotas in college and university admission that grievously discriminate against Asians — core tenets of the liberal Democratic Party’s agenda.

US President Barack Obama is an uber-liberal, the most liberal US president ever. Hence the above view of Asians held by liberals applies to him even more. He is an enthusiastic advocate of expanding government, higher taxes and racial quotas.

Obama’s views of Asians are reflected in his administration’s Asia policy. Asia is neglected, which is of particular note given its fast growing economic, military and cultural importance. Obama prefers Europe. He spends most of his time dealing with Middle East issues.

Obama especially dislikes Taiwan. Following are the reasons and the evidence.

First, the reasons:

Obama has shown a level of disdain for his predecessor like no other president. Former US president George W. Bush liked Taiwan. In 2001, Bush said that he would “do whatever it took” to defend Taiwan. Although Bush experienced some serious differences with Taiwan when he was president, Democrats remember him for his defense of the Taiwan line.

Obama’s nemesis during the presidential campaign was Senator John McCain, who said unequivocally (in an article in Foreign Affairs) that he would, if elected president, employ US forces to defend Taiwan.

Of course, the “authoritarian, right-wing” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rules Taiwan. That is the party of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), which Democrats some decades ago demonized after Republicans assailed them for losing China (as it turns out, neither charge has stood the test of time, though Democrats hang on to the mantra and have no doubt cited it to Obama).

There is a history of Republicans liking and supporting Taiwan more than Democrats. Republicans have a greater affinity for Asia, which is conservative, than Democrats. They have considered Taiwan as a bastion of capitalism, democracy and freedom.

Second, the evidence:

Obama was barely in office when his administration proposed talks between top military brass from Taiwan and China. This denied a long-standing tenet of US policy and a promise to Taiwan not to mediate in cross-strait relations or pressure Taiwan to negotiate. Observers took this as a hint that the president favored unification not on Taiwan’s terms.

In 2009, when Obama made his first trip to China, he issued a formal written statement. In it he cited the Three Communiques as the basis of US-China-Taiwan policy. The communiques reflect US efforts to engineer better relations with China (at Taiwan’s expense). The president did not cite the Taiwan Relations Act (which is law, has a higher legal status than the communiques and protects Taiwan).

Similarly, Obama did not broach two topics that top US officials pro forma bring up during talks with Chinese leaders: democracy and human rights. Doing so would have put Taiwan in a good light.

Since Obama became president, no Cabinet or sub-Cabinet official has visited Taiwan and Taiwan has not featured in a speech by any senior administration official dealing with Asia policy, or so says US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the new Republican chairperson of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. Ros-Lehtinen says Taiwan is an “afterthought” in the Obama administration, while citing a “new spirit of appeasement in the air.”

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