Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In an op-ed published today in the Taipei Times — meant for publication in newspapers abroad but not picked up by any — I argue that failure to pressure the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration now on human rights, transparency and accountability in its interactions with Beijing is sowing the seeds of disaster for 2012, when Taiwanese could very well derail his plans through electoral retribution. What, in this scenario, makes 2012 such a dangerous year is that aware of this possibility, Beijing has continued apace with the modernization of its armed forces despite better relations across the Taiwan Strait. If, after coming so close to unification (its openly stated goal for the cross-strait talks), Beijing saw that its plans risked failing because of Taiwanese voters, the likelihood that it would resort to force to complete the process could be higher than it’s ever been — much higher than during the 1996 missile crisis, when Beijing’s saber rattling was much more bluff than signs of a coming attack. This piece attempts to set the record strait and to provide a counterbalance to all those “experts” who have hailed Ma’s opening as “pragmatic” and “masterful,” or claimed, without ever setting foot here, that everybody in Taiwan is on the same wavelength on how to approach talks with China.
Posted by J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 at 9:47 AM