Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 3 News List

US academic says bilateral relations face four threats


Taiwanese businessmen and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are among the "four threats" to Taiwan-US-China relations, a US academic said in a forum on Tuesday night.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) and the international community and the US' use of the term "one China" are the other two threats, said Bruce Herschensohn, a Pepperdine University professor and a former deputy special assistant to US president Richard Nixon.

Herschensohn made the remarks in a forum titled "US-Taiwan Relations Retrospective and Prospects" organized by the Taiwan Thinktank.

With so much trade being done with China, it seems the majority of Taiwanese businessmen lean toward maintaining the status quo, Herschensohn said, adding that people are reluctant to discuss Taiwan's independence for fear of war.

"Taiwan is at risk for not being independent," he said, adding that Taiwan has to depend on outside help and that businessmen cannot keep their businesses from potential risk.

As for the KMT, he said that from listening to former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and others, "you can always feel China in the background."

Even more confusing was the KMT did not participate in a rally against China's "Anti-Secession" Law in March 2005, while less than a week later, former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) visited China, Herschensohn said.

China is obviously a threat, but being moderate to a country that deploys more than 900 missiles against Taiwan is even more dangerous thinking, Herschensohn said, questioning "some people's" attitudes toward China.

He said he does not oppose the "one China" term but "at the same time, there's also one Taiwan and one Australia" and Taiwan has never been under the PRC's control.

He said that since Taiwan will not be recognized by the UN after so many failed bids, it might as well "take the opposite course" and do what it thinks is right.

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