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March 31, 2005

Cross-Straight Tension Boils: The China Taiwan Affair

David Hsu

      On March 14, 2005, China instituted its latest method in trying to rein in Taiwan, the tiny island to its East. Taiwan has been a “thorn” in China’s side since 1949, when Nationalist troops, having lost the Chinese Civil War, fled to the island and set up an independent government. China has now instituted a law authorizing its army to attack Taiwan if it moves towards establishing official independence.

      Washington and the Bush administration remain the main allies and arms suppliers of the island. Bush has asked China to reconsider its stance; and the new law was featured in talks between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart in China during Rice’s recent visit to the mainland.

      Chinese officials have repeatedly stressed their wishes for peaceful reunification with Taiwan. China’s latest move is a result of the inflammatory rhetoric and actions regarding formal independence taken by Taiwan’s President Chen. While the majority of the citizens in both Taiwan and China wish for peaceful reunification and to become “one family,” President Chen and his administration are doing anything but that.

      As an immigrant from Taiwan, it is my belief that reunification benefits both sides. We are all Chinese. To me there is no difference between being Chinese from the mainland or Chinese from the island. My grandparents were among the first immigrants from China to Taiwan. As someone who has been back to Taiwan several times, I feel that Taiwan will benefit economically, culturally, and socially from reunification. Reunification can only make Taiwan stronger. If President Chen continues to take Taiwan on this course of independence, not only will he weaken an already fragile Taiwan, he will also set Taiwan on a path to self-destruction. On the other hand, the Taiwan affair is an internal matter for China- one that the Bush administration should stay out of. The Bush administration knows nothing about what the majority of Chinese want. By Chinese, I am talking about the people from both the mainland and from the island. The Bush administration is only hearing the voice of a fanatic Chen and his administration, who do not truly represent what the majority of people in Taiwan wish for: peaceful reunification with China.

Front Page (March 31, 2005)

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