Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who’s in charge of policymaking?

It would be in the interest of the Ma administration to call China’s Taiwan Affairs Office to account over recent comments that make a mockery of the sovereignty of Taiwan

More and more, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) is behaving as if Taiwan were under the administrative control of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Two recent instances suffice to highlight the matter — one involving a soon-to-be-implemented policy allowing individual Chinese to travel to Taiwan and the other concerning reports that the Taiwanese navy would send vessels to patrol waters surrounding contested islands in the South China Sea.

In both cases, comments by TAO officials purposefully gave the impression that real decision-making powers existed not in Taipei, but rather in Beijing. Whether those comments were propaganda efforts or stemmed from a firm, if confabulatory belief that this is the case is not as important as the fact that the government in Taipei failed to counter the claims with the decisiveness that the situation called for.

My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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