Call for US bases
A recent article explores the use of pre-emptive strikes against the China mainland (“An uncomfortable defense option?” Sept. 7, page 8). The author discusses recent Rand Corp studies, but then he does not disclose an organizational bias of past Rand authors. The Rand authors provide a subliminal political message on the futility of defending Taiwan against Chinese military threats. For Taiwan, the best strategic solution is a US operated anti-missile system deployed in South Korea. China is now spooked.
The better strategy of pre-emptive strikes against China would be the return of US military bases on Taiwan and Penghu Islands. A US-operated anti-missile system on Taiwan would provide a very strong deterrent to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) missiles aimed at both.
There is no need for a Taiwan-only strategy, because the US presence on Taiwan would telegraph a political message to Beijing. The US Missile Defense Command is prepared to engage and destroy the enemies of the US in the Far East with its rockets. The Chinese have failed to heed warnings about the South China Sea and their military aggression is creating new military bases.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) political majority should be greasing the political rails for the permanent return of US military bases to Taiwan. It would be a political success that would endear the DPP politicians to the people of Taiwan and it would provide the newest form of defense services under the Taiwan Relations Act.
China would be deterred from a pre-emptive attack on Taiwan because of US anti-missile defense systems on Taiwan. The DPP should exhibit more hawkish positions against PRC missiles, and the Taiwan Relations Act is the best leverage in achieving this objective.
The DPP must act boldly, and it must act now.
Lizard bounty warning
I read with some concern your article about the Chiayi County Government offering a per-specimen cash reward for people who capture or kill exotic lizards, such as the brown anole or green iguana (“Chiayi offers lizard bounty,” Sept. 9, page 3).
My concern is that many of the people catching these lizards for the bounty will show little concern for the methods used to capture them. As a result, catch/kill traps will likely be used, which maximize the number of lizards caught with little concern for the other insects and animals that will be trapped along with them. All manner of beetles, butterflies, frogs and indigenous lizards could be harmed in an effort to obtain as many invasive species as possible.
Consequently, this program is far more likely to be detrimental, rather than beneficial, to Taiwan’s already over-stressed and fragile ecosystems.
S Korea no comparison
Lee Min-yung’s (李敏勇) recent article comparing Taiwan and South Korea is rhetorical nonsense with no facts to support it (“Taiwan festers; South Korea grows,” Sept. 11, page 6).
Taiwan is a much better place to live than South Korea. South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world. One of the reasons is because there is more cultural pressure there than here to be good-looking and financially successful.
South Korea has the highest rate of alcoholism in the world. Cannot deal with the pressure, so get drunk.
Tattoos are illegal in South Korea. Again, the pressure to conform.
People in Taiwan are friendlier than people in South Korea. Taiwan is a happier country than South Korea.
China has long sought shortcuts to developing semiconductor technologies and local supply chains by poaching engineers and experts from Taiwan and other nations. It is also suspected of stealing trade secrets from Taiwanese and US firms to fulfill its ambition of becoming a major player in the global semiconductor industry in the next decade. However, it takes more than just money and talent to build a semiconductor supply chain like the one which Taiwan and the US started to cultivate more than 30 years ago. Amid rising trade and technology tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, Beijing has become
With a new White House document in May — the “Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China” — the administration of US President Donald Trump has firmly set its hyper-competitive line to tackle geoeconomic and geostrategic rivalry, followed by several reinforcing speeches by Trump and other Cabinet-level officials. By identifying China as a near-equal rival, the strategy resonates well with the bipartisan consensus on China in today’s severely divided US. In the face of China’s rapidly growing aggression, the move is long overdue, yet relevant for the maintenance of the international “status quo.” The strategy seems to herald a new
To say that this year has been eventful for China and the rest of the world would be something of an understatement. First, the US-China trade dispute, already simmering for two years, reached a boiling point as Washington tightened the noose around China’s economy. Second, China unleashed the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, wreaking havoc on an unimaginable scale and turning the People’s Republic of China into a common target of international scorn. Faced with a mounting crisis at home, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) rashly decided to ratchet up military tensions with neighboring countries in a misguided attempt to divert the
Toward the end of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) final term in office, there was much talk about his legacy. Ma himself would likely prefer history books to enshrine his achievements in reducing cross-strait tensions. He might see his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore in 2015 as the high point. However, given his statements in the past few months, he might be remembered more for contributing to the breakup of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). We are still talking about Ma and his legacy because it is inextricably tied to the so-called “1992 consensus” as the bedrock of his