Monday, March 24, 2008

Olympic Pledge for Peace Rings Hollow

Perhaps you've heard: this year's Olympic host hasn't been on very good behavoir when it comes to human rights. Here is a letter to the editor published in Defense News on March 17 from the director of the Press Division at TECRO on the subject:
As reported in your March 10 article by Wendell Minnick, “Is DoD Annual Report on China 20/20?,” China’s continued increases in military spending raise doubts regarding Beijing’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of tensions in the Taiwan Strait. In light of such doubts, Taiwan has been focusing heavily over the past few years on improving its defensive capabilities.

March 14 marks the 3rd anniversary of the ratification of China’s “Anti-Secession Law.” When one considers this document—which reserves for China the ‘right’ to use force against Taiwan—alongside the ever-increasing array of over 1,000 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) deployed against Taiwan in China’s southeastern province, one wonders if Beijing’s pledge to behave in the interest of peace as this year’s Olympic host was some kind of sarcastic joke.

Taiwan’s leaders concern themselves with preserving the island’s vibrant and democratic society when they arrange for the purchase of defensive weapons, but an attack by China against Taiwan would also deal a major blow to the state of the global economy. Taiwan is a key link in the global IT supply chain; a major cross-Strait conflict could seriously cripple electronics trade worldwide.

Taiwan’s global importance also accounts for its need to be seated in vital international forums; namely, the United Nations and World Health Assembly. Until China can be convinced of this point, Taiwan and the United States will hopefully continue to successfully negotiate arms purchases and further build on the strong bilateral relationship necessary to keep the island well-protected.

Eddy Tsai
Director, Press Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

No comments: