Tuesday, December 04, 2001
With the war in Afghanistan and the discovery that cross-contamination may be to blame for the deaths of two people from anthrax dominating the news, it's too easy to overlook other, important world events. The Weekly Standard's William Kristol, in a Washington Post op-ed, highlights Taiwan's recent legislative elections that saw the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party take over the 225-member legislature. This occurred, Kristol notes, despite the economic recession that has hit the tiny island nation hard.
I'd like to note that I'm deliberately calling it a nation, and not a renegade province like the corrupt, Marxist-Leninist thugs in Beijing would like them referred to as. Taiwan is a democracy and we should no longer kow-tow to Beijing and treat Taiwan as an international pariah.
China hands in Washington will desperately try to avoid the clear implications of this vote: America's one-China policy is dead. The citizens of Taiwan think of themselves as a free people separate from China, at least as long as China remains unfree. America has no reason any longer to claim otherwise. It has every reason to support the right of the peoples of Taiwan and China to determine their future relationship based on the principle of popular consent.
Kristol has it exactly right. How we can fail to support a democracy that allows freedom of religion in the face of a oligarchy that jails Christians and beats Falun Gong members to death is unconscionable. The United States needs to extend formal diplomatic recognition to this tiny island of democracy in the Pacific, and damn China's complaints.