Friday, March 09, 2012

For Beijing, mutual trust is one-way

Even old hands like Zbigniew Brzezinski seem to be taken in by Beijing’s rhetoric on mutual trust and understanding. Or they know they’re being lied to, but choose to play along

While calling on the international community to respect China’s “right” to peaceful development, Beijing has yet to abandon its tendency to make requests that are diametrically opposed to that goal.

Again this week, Beijing called on Washington to facilitate mutual understanding and respect its core interests, which include its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. The problem with such assertions is that Beijing’s definition of mutual understanding is often irreconcilable with reality, or at least morality.

It is very difficult, for one, to increase mutual understanding when one side’s position is underscored by the deployment of 1,600 ballistic missiles. Surely, mutual understanding cannot include the other party’s acknowledgement that the Chinese military has a right to threaten Taiwan’s 23 million peace-loving people, let alone ignore their own preferences regarding their identity and the destiny of their nation.

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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