The challenges of being in the middle of China-Taiwan dispute
Your May 2 editorial, "Taiwan can't be fooled," reminds me of an East Asian saying: "Evening drum and morning bell," which means "a voice sufficient to buck up or wake up people." The article bucks up the spirit of those who were dismayed by the former vice president of Taiwan, who bashed Taiwan's democracy while in Beijing. It can also wake up those who naively believe that the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party leader can convince China to remove those hundreds of missiles pointing at Taiwan.
As a communication professor and former journalist brought up in Taiwan, I would like to commend the writer, who is knowledgeable about both Chinese communist propaganda and Taiwanese politics.
Your editorial is written through Western eyes and a Western mind-set. It doesn't reflect an understanding of the Asian mind or of Asian culture, tradition, or civilization. It is naive and foolish for Westerners, especially Americans, who have such a short history and a short memory, to claim to have any understanding of a civilization of 4,000 years, where 50 years of communist rule is simply a blip.
It would be wise for Americans to bite their tongue to avoid getting in the middle of a family feud that will be resolved in the long run between the members of the family. There is an old Chinese saying that if two sisters are having an argument, the friend of the two should not try to intervene. If you do, the sisters will make up anyway, and you will be their common enemy.
If the leaders of the Democratic Party in the US negotiated a deal with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to undermine the Republican Party, we Americans would be outraged and would vote the Democrats out of office. We would recognize that the CCP is an affront to American values and that striking such a deal with the CCP would be tantamount to destroying the security of the United States.
So, why would the majority of Taiwanese tolerate and even support Kuomintang politicians, like Lien Chan, who willingly conspire with the CCP to undermine the Democratic Progressive Party?
Although a minority of Taiwanese vehemently objects to being ruled by Beijing, the majority considers being ruled by Beijing as a mere inconvenience, not a tragedy. For most Taiwanese, financial considerations like reaping huge profits in the mainland market are more important than the inconvenience of being controlled by Beijing.
Why should we Americans sacrifice our time, money, and even lives to prevent a mere inconvenience for Taiwanese? We should rescind the Taiwan Relations Act and immediately cease selling weapons to Taipei.
The opening statement in your editorial stated: "The increasingly rich and well-schooled Taiwanese aren't like the mainland's 700 million, little-educated peasants whom the communist leaders usually manipulate. Yet last week Beijing treated the people of Taiwan like dupes by meddling in their politics in a foolhardy way."
I am very offended by the underlying tone of this statement. It shows total disrespect for Chinese peasants - a population that is more than twice that of the whole US. For an article that supposedly based its argument on democracy and people's choice, this tone of elitism is very unfortunate.
The statement is especially upsetting to me, a PhD and proud son of peasants in mainland China. I also found the whole editorial very extreme and one-sided in its view.
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.
Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .
Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.