East China West China

Today is election day in Taiwan and I hope voters will shun any candidates or political parties intent on moving towards independence. The U.S. needs to oppose moves towards Taiwan independence as strongly as it does reunification by force and make it clear that if the voters of Taiwan do decide they want to elect pro-independence parties and politicians then they will be left to face the consequences on their own without any economic, political, or military support from the U.S..

The U.S. and the rest of the world must understand that the situation between China and Taiwan is not akin to Russia and Ukraine which are and have been separate countries. China and Taiwan are more like East and West Germany or North and South Vietnam. This is because their separation is a relic of the cold war and like these other two countries that had been divided over capitalist / communist ideology and U.S. / U.S.S.R. alliances China too will eventually be reunited.

The question is will it be reunified by force because of the irresponsible words and actions of politicians and the inability of the voters of Taiwan to see that the DPP is leading them towards disaster, or will it be reunified peacefully when mainland China looks and functions a lot more like Taiwan. The best thing Taiwan can do for itself, the rest of China, and the world is to maintain the status quo and continue to set an example of what kind of an open and prosperous society freedom and democracy can bring.

No More Near Misses

The U.S. should reach an agreement with China before there’s an accident in the Taiwan Strait and before it further emboldens Taiwan separatists into thinking the U.S. will send its citizens to fight and die in support of Taiwan independence. To put it simply, if the Chinese Navy doesn’t sail their ships into the territorial seas controlled by Taiwan or take any other unprovoked military actions against Taiwan then the U.S. navy should not sail their ships through the Taiwan Strait as doing so is an unnecessary provocation that serves no positive purpose.

If an agreement like this was enacted China would not be as pressed into feeling an increased sense of urgency to retake Taiwan and voters in Taiwan would be less likely to press their luck by supporting politicians and political parties that increasingly and irresponsibly flirt with the idea of Taiwan independence. Moreover this gesture of respect, show of support for the One China policy, and meaningful attempt to reduce tensions will not diminish the U.S. capability or resolve to come to the aid of Taiwan in the event of an unprovoked invasion from the mainland.