HOME page                  NEW STUFF page 
          WRITING CONTENT page       GUEST ARTISTS pageHome_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3

Clear Eye on Taiwan

John W. Pinkerton


International conflicts are usually anchored in concrete facts.  These facts can not be wished away.  They must be recognized and viewed with a clear eye…particularly in a world well-stocked with nuclear weapons.

Recently there was an American delegation which met with a Taiwanese delegation in response to military threats from China: the Chinese keep making flyovers of Taiwan to remind them of China's military strength.  I suspect that the delegates were on the right side of history but the wrong side of reality.

A quick history lesson: Chiang Kai-shek was the leader of China back in the late 40's when Mao and the Communists drove him and his military forces off of the mainland on to the island of Taiwan, a part of China.

With a little help from the friends of Taiwan which included the United States, the Island was able to fend off the communist government of mainland China.

China has always maintained that Taiwan has never been a sovereign country and was and is an integral part of China, and Taiwan will be unified with mainland China once again someday…someday.

China has a very long history.  It has learned lessons from this history.  Patience is one of them.  I recognized years ago that there was an inevitability to the reunification of the “countries.”

The China of today is not the China of the 40's when the “Taiwanese” were able to hold off the forces of mainland China.  Today China is a world-class military power, and China is only 81 miles from Taiwan only separated by this narrow strip of water.  Taiwan is not the most efficient military force and seems to be depending on the US to back them up.

You may have heard of the “One China Policy.”  The policy has long been accepted by the US.  Although the US has a strong economic  relationship with Taiwan, we have no formal diplomatic relationship.   Only 13 countries officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state, and these countries are mainly located in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

China has made the offer to Taiwan to allow it to self-govern while giving up its claim of sovereignty.    Taiwan absolutely rejected this offer…probably a mistake.

What is our interest in Taiwan?  Well, some claim we must support Taiwan because it is a democracy: humm, we also supported Taiwan when it was a dictatorship.  That fact kind of takes the edge off the democracy argument.

Well, we're a trading partner with Taiwan.  You might say we put all of our chips in one basket, well, two: we get a few more microchips from Malaysia than we do Taiwan. 

Our idiot president said that he was willing to put US troops into Taiwan to protect it from China.  Of course, someone in the White House walked this back.

My goodness!  Is that Google and Microsoft, American companies, in Taiwan?  Didn't they read the newspaper: “China Claims Sovereignty Over Taiwan.”  The US is a huge investor in Taiwan based stocks. I guess no one read any part of the newspaper except the financial pages, not the international relationship pages.

No one forced these companies to put their interests at risk in a communist country.   This decision may have become a self-inflicted wound, and I really don't feel comfortable using our military to protect Bill Gates' and Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin's stuff in Taiwan.

Our president should be talking to Taiwan encouraging them to make a deal with China, a deal viewed with a clear eye which takes into account the hard reality of their relationship to China---a deal which may save many lives including some of our own folks.  It may even save all of those foolish US investments.