TAINAN—Washington’s decision from the Senate could be far reaching. Within Taiwan, the President, Ma (馬英九), is often accused of being in cahoots with Beijing. However, I hold him in similar regard to Obama: inexperienced, not evil. Both presidents should learn that we can’t apologize our way into befriending enemies. But history doesn’t lend infinite time for such lessons. We often don’t realize the importance of Peace from Strength until we’ve lost both.
The international community often views China as an axis of secret evil operating with economic motives. In truth, Asian “Shame” culture, often eluding the Western mind, explains that China merely wants respect. Beijing doesn’t understand that victory over Taiwan, which China is still technically at war with, will only breed distrust.
It’s been over half a century since Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) escaped to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) in flight from the Chinese Communists. When China keeps a silent war with the previous generation on their books, to the rest of the world Beijing simply appears to be insane. If a Chinese politician heard that he’d think he was being shamed rather than informed. But “Shame” is a value of the Far East, Westerners couldn’t care less about shaming others. We in the West value survival over vendettas. Maybe it was Christianity from Jerusalem that taught this to the West two thousand years ago. China has yet to be fully evangelized. The decision of the Senate could hasten that process..
Understand China’s background: No international war experience, only revolution. Soldiers’ garb is solid, not camouflage, because the are actually internal police. Among the largest nations in real estate with an underestimated population—from two-children families who lie in a census—China still leads. Poor until the last decade, China has that itch for action of a fifteen-year-old who can’t wait to drive. Communist-China doesn’t know its limits because they’ve never been for a test drive.
The true political evil is Russia, having effectively faked a democratic revolution and puppet-republic failure. But even Russia knows not to invade other countries—for the time being. China doesn’t. They are wet behind the ears. Mark these words: If China invades Taiwan it only means Taiwan will soon be recognized by Beijing.
Though downplayed in the media, Taiwan is still a force to be reckoned with. Japan recognizes Taiwan—unlike the United States with our “one nation, two governments” policy. Tokyo wouldn’t tolerate Beijing’s courting once the Communists raise their colors and topple regional peace. India has border disputes with China and knows that if Taiwan falls today, India “gets it” tomorrow. The United States just announced a large placement of troops in Taiwan. Everything suggests that China thinks international leaders are weak, will soon become overconfident, invade Formosa, loose to a swift international response from all sides (except Russia), be weakened from likely unrest in Shanghai and Tibet, and be forced into normalizing relations with Taiwan.
Moscow will show its true colors. Beijing will get past their past. Taiwan will see the end of their beginning.
From the Taipei Times, today: Hope of F-16C/Ds dashed by US Senate
From the Taipei Times, last week: No F-16C/Ds in US arms deal