Mon, Jul 30, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Ian Easton on Taiwan: Three big lies you probably believe

Chinese propaganda can exploit thoughts and emotions in a way that is terrifying to consider. What makes it so convincing and pernicious is that the victim doesn’t realize they are being manipulated. They don’t know the story behind the story and don’t think to ask. You’d be amazed at what you can turn up with research. But who has the time!

By the way, if you want to know who supports my research, go to the Project 2049 Institute homepage, look at our list of grant contributors, and read our annual reports. Don’t just assume you can trust me because this paper was kind enough to print my words.

The point is that it is healthy to question your assumptions and check your facts. In an age of rampant disinformation, it’s important that you don’t trust, and do verify. Our democracies suffer when we fail to do that.

What if war is coming? What if war comes? What then? It’s long past time our nations sober up and stand together on safer ground. Taiwan needs to affirm and reaffirm its will to defend itself. The US needs to affirm and reaffirm its will to honor its commitments to Taiwan’s survival as a beacon of democracy. Our ability to fight and win is not certain. But our defeat is already sealed if we surrender to Beijing’s lies.

The future is coming and it’s likely to be less kind to us than the present and the past. We can either choose to struggle and shape tomorrow as best we can, or to wait complacently and hope Xi Jinping (習近平) and his advisors don’t wake up one day and decide to roll the iron dice.

The choices we make may decide more than just our own fates. They may bless or curse those of generations that follow us. There are hard decisions coming. They will be informed by beliefs and assumptions shaped at least in part by hostile forces. So what do you think is true? And have you fact checked that?

Ian Easton is a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute and author of The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia (中共攻台大解密).

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