Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 3 News List

US storm puts an end to debate on Asia

STORMY POLITICS:The latest polls give Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney a slight lead, but it is looking like the storm may become a deciding factor

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

“In the long run, China is not going to get what it wants from Taiwan simply by deepening economic relations and pressure. It is not going to be able to get it peacefully. And so I think there is some reason to be concerned in the longer term about how it is going to play out. But for the time being, certainly the trend has been towards stability and that’s all to the good,” Friedberg said.

Bader said it was important to appreciate what Ma had done with China and that the great risk of conflict had been taken off the table for the foreseeable future.

It was important, he said, that the US provided Taiwan with the means to “deter and dissuade” China from aggression but the thought that Taiwan could compete with China in an arms race was an illusion that Asia watchers in the US should not have and that “frankly, people in Taiwan do not have.”

Friedberg said that no one who seriously studied the problem thought Taiwan would have the capacity to defend itself on its own from China, but that it needed to be strong enough to resist Chinese attack and to make itself a difficult target.

Ultimately, he said, Taiwan would have to hope that there would be peaceful resolution and that it could count — if needed — on the help of the US.

He said that it could become more difficult in the future to sustain the “status quo” “as China’s power continues to grow.”

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