Friday, July 22, 2016

The Closing of the Chinese Mind

‘If we are to avoid major tensions in the Taiwan Strait, there will have to be a time when the people in Chinese academia and government who actually know what is going on in Taiwan are allowed to speak up’ 

Given how often Beijing has stated that Taiwan is a “core interest” of China, it is fascinating — disturbing, in fact — how little Chinese “experts” seem to understand Taiwanese society, even after eight years of much more frequent interactions between the two sides. Since Chinese annexationist designs on the democratic nation-state remain a potential cause of armed conflict between China and the U.S., one would hope that influential Chinese thinkers would be more refined in their analyses of the situation. Sadly, whether as a result of groupthink, fear of angering Beijing authorities or blind nationalism, Chinese academics are simply not delivering. 

No doubt there are academics in China who have a better grasp of what’s going on in Taiwan and the decades-long developments there that have contributed to its distinct identity. The problem, however, is that those tend to remain silent, or their views are, due to censorship, not given the oxygen they need to spread. 

My op-ed, published today in The News Lens International, continues here.

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