Today, Russia mourns the victims of the inhuman terrorist attack in Beslan. It is a terrible tragedy and emotional blow to every Russian citizen, and has evoked a wave of sympathy from around the world (which in this case, regrettably, did not include Taiwan). Of course, what is a tragedy to Russia is a joy to terrorists and their sympathizers. For the author of your editorial ("Address root causes of terrorism," Sept. 5, page 8) about this episode, as he or she calls the death of 335 people, nearly half of them children, is a good occasion to throw some mud at Russia, as well as to arrogantly judge it and provide unsolicited advice.
This article creates the impression that, although the terrorists are wrong, the Russian government should ultimately be held responsible for the tragedy, or at least share some responsibility with the terrorists. I wonder if the author uses the same logic to describe other terrorist attacks, like on Sept. 11, 2001, or if Russia is a special case conveniently providing the opportunity for an exercise in hypocrisy and double standards.
There is indeed no good solution to a situation in which 1,500 people, including many children, are taken hostage by brutal terrorists, who can not be called human, who do not even have any demands and who just want to provoke bloodshed. And to those who watched live coverage it should be absolutely clear who opened fire and why the siege began. I am unaware of any group "demanding an explanation from the Russian government," as the editorial claims. Leaders and citizens of many countries, as well as the UN, EU, NATO and other organizations, have expressed their sympathy, as well as their condemnation of terrorism.
So, some people wonder why Russia cannot just leave Chechnya alone. Well, we have tried that already. Chechnya was de facto independent from Russia from 1996 to 1999. This resulted in Chechnya becoming a bandit republic of the dark medieval kind. Just one example: at the time, there were slave markets openly operating in Grozny and other cities. Curiously, at that time we did not hear reprimands addressed to Chechen rulers from those human rights crusaders who are now accusing Russia with gusto. They were busy with some other problems, like Kosovo, saving their ammunition for bigger targets than some slave masters in Chechnya.
Finally, in 1999, Chechen bandits tried to invade the bordering republic of Dagestan to establish their caliphate. They blew up several apartment houses in Moscow and other Russian cities, killing hundreds of innocent people. That finally triggered the Russian response.
Russia is trying to restore normal life in the republic, to restore the rule of law, democracy and human rights. It is a difficult process, interrupted by frequent terrorist attacks. If Russia leaves the northern Caucasus, this region will become a kingdom of terror that would make Afghanistan under the Taliban seem like Switzerland. So, our war with terrorism should mobilize help and support from the international community. That is generally what is happening.
Even if Russia wants to start negotiation with so-called "rebels," who should we talk to? Famous terrorist and murderer Shamil Basayev? "President" Aslan Maskhadov, under whose rule Chechnya became the hotbed for international terrorism and religious extremism and who controls nothing and decides nothing?
Terrorists want to break the spirit of my nation and make it surrender. Those who read history textbooks know that Russia does not surrender.
Russian Representative Office, Taipei
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Forward Forum in Taipei, former Singaporean minister for foreign affairs George Yeo (楊榮文) proposed a “Chinese commonwealth” as a potential framework for political integration between Taiwan and China. Yeo said the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait is unsustainable and that Taiwan should not be “a piece on the chessboard” in a geopolitical game between China and the US. Yeo’s remark is nothing but an ill-intentioned political maneuver that is made by all pro-China politicians in Singapore. Since when does a Southeast Asian nation have the right to stick its nose in where it is not wanted
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has released a plan to economically integrate China’s Fujian Province with Taiwan’s Kinmen County, outlining a cross-strait development project based on six major themes and 21 measures. This official document by the CCP is directed toward Taiwan’s three outlying island counties: Penghu County, Lienchiang County (Matsu) and Kinmen County. The plan sets out to construct a cohabiting sphere between Kinmen and the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen, as well as between Matsu and Fuzhou. It also aims to bring together Minnanese cultural areas including Taiwan’s Penghu and China’s cities of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou for further integrated
During a recent visit to Taiwan, I encountered repeated questions about “America skepticism” among the body politic. The basic premise of the “America skepticism” theory is that Taiwan people should view the United States as an unreliable, self-interested actor who is using Taiwan for its own purposes. According to this theory, America will abandon Taiwan when its interests are advanced by doing so. At one level, such skepticism is a sign of a healthy, well-functioning democratic society that protects the right for vigorous political debate. Indeed, around the world, the people of Taiwan are far from alone in debating America’s reliability
As China’s economy was meant to drive global economic growth this year, its dramatic slowdown is sounding alarm bells across the world, with economists and experts criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for his unwillingness or inability to respond to the nation’s myriad mounting crises. The Wall Street Journal reported that investors have been calling on Beijing to take bolder steps to boost output — especially by promoting consumer spending — but Xi has deep-rooted philosophical objections to Western-style consumption-driven growth, seeing it as wasteful and at odds with his goal of making China a world-leading industrial and technological powerhouse, and