Sat, Dec 14, 2013 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Government’s missed opportunity

First, in response to South Korea’s expansion of its air defense zone, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that Seoul’s actions differed from Beijing’s and would not constitute a problem in relations between Japan and South Korea. This makes it clear that Biden’s attempts at rebuilding relations between the two countries has met with initial success. China may have thought it could use differences between the US, Japan and South Korea to give itself the position of undisputed leader in East Asia, but the obstacles are still too great, and any such attempt would only serve to strengthen the US-Japanese security alliance.

Second, the economic situation remains an indicator of how long the US will continue to dominate the world. US debt stands at US$16 trillion, and China, the US’ largest debtor country, owns US$1.3 trillion of that. The recent issue over Iran’s nuclear ambitions was only temporarily solved with a preliminary six month agreement. And while the US first said that it would take military action against Syria’s chemical weapons, it later decided not to.

If these are the reasons Beijing is choosing to put pressure on the US now, it is making an even bigger mistake. The fact is that Biden’s Middle East peace talks and the insistence on appointing Chuck Hagel as defense secretary reflect US President Barack Obama’s second term strategy to move away from the Middle East. On the question of where he will take the US once he pulls out of the Middle East — as Biden said in South Korea on Nov. 6: “President Obama’s decision to rebalance the Pacific basin is not in question. The United States never says anything it does not do.”

Xi Jinping’s Chinese dream is becoming a nightmare for China’s neighbors. How long will it take him to repair China’s image, and how will he be able to pull back without losing face? This is something that the Chinese leadership and Chinese intellectuals must think long and hard about.

In Taiwan, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is doing whatever the Chinese Communist Party tells it to, and Ma behaves like Xi’s servant. In the end, it will lose a crucial opportunity to show the world that Taiwan insists on peace and carries strategic importance, and this is a big problem for Taiwanese society.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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