Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 8 News List

Avoiding being left out in the cold

By Ruan Ming 阮銘

In the face of the current global situation, things do not look too good for China. Before the CCP’s National Congress, US President Barack Obama was re-elected, and he promptly visited Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. He has also proposed a grand strategy of rebalancing the US toward Asia, the so-called “Asian pivot,” and supporting and cooperating with Asian democracies in an effort to contain China’s military expansion. Under these circumstances, the overall situation is much more favorable to Taiwan now than it was under Chiang Ching-kuo.

Not long ago, Obama gave Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi a hug and kiss during his visit to the country, while Philippine President Benigno Aquino III criticized Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) at an international meeting in Cambodia. The Philippines is aware of the strength of unity between Asian democracies. Meanwhile, Japan is eager for talks over its entry to the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.

Astonishingly, Taiwan seems oblivious to the ongoing changes. No wonder Associated Press reported on Nov. 20 that Taiwan has been “left out in the cold.”

I agree with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) and his predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文), call for a national affairs conference. Such a conference would help remedy problems such as the underfinanced national pension system and year-end bonuses for retired government employees, as well as discuss and propose a grand Taiwanese strategy to deal with the changing global situation. Taiwan’s economic development and democratic politics could gain new vigor which could help realize a happy, fair and just society, terminating the loss of national vitality and creativity so Taiwan would be able to stand together with the world’s advanced countries.

Ruan Ming is an academic specializing in cross-strait issues. He was an assistant to former Chinese Communist Party general-secretary Hu Yaobang.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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