Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taiwan is hostage to a blatant lie

A banner is displayed during a rally on Feb. 28
Everybody knows that Beijing is the aggressor in the Taiwan Strait, yet experts all over the world continue to pretend that it is otherwise 

As a famous US professor once told an up-and-coming Taiwanese academic, there is something about Taiwan that makes even the best and the brightest of minds stop thinking. 

Time and again, otherwise intelligent academics, journalists, writers and government officials have managed to get it all wrong when it comes to Taiwan. The fact that a country whose 23 million people would make it the ninth-largest country in Europe by population size, and whose economy is among the 20 largest economies globally, is so regularly misunderstood is predominantly the result of Chinese propaganda and the willingness of other countries to allow Beijing to get away with its lies.

Not only is Taiwan misrepresented, but the biases that are stacked against it prevent its 23 million people from deciding their own future. So entrenched has this handicap become that Taiwan, not China, is often regarded as the troublemaker, even though it is Beijing, not Taipei, that threatens war — against Taiwan, Japan and the US — over the question of its sovereignty. It is as if Czechoslovakia or Poland, not Nazi Germany, were the true instigators of World War II in Europe. 

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

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