Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Will to Be Free

I've noted that I worry that the Taiwanese may lack the desire to be free that would steel them to resist an invasion of their island of 23 million by the forces of the 1.3 billion mainlanders.

I still worry about Taiwan's failure to spend what is needed to build an adequate military and I still worry about the apparent poor training of the Taiwanese military, but when a million Taiwanese march to show China that the Taiwanese will not be cowed, I could be wrong about their will to be free:

"China is a violent country. We want nothing to do with it," said Wu Chao-hsiung, a carpenter from Taipei who attended the protest. "We have to insist on the freedom to determine our own fate."

Behind her, U.S. and Japanese flags flew below a green protest banner. Many Taiwanese see those two countries as the island's most likely allies in any military conflict with China.

I still think that prompt intervention by the US and/or Japan is necessary to halt a Chinese attack without seeing a war drag out into months and years, but the Taiwanese may be getting used to being free.

That too, is dangerous, too, since the Chinese may well fear that absorbing Taiwan will be too tough if the Taiwanese grow too attached to freedom. Really, as long as Taiwan was a KMT authoritarian regime, the Taiwanes people just might have not cared which ruler told them what to do.

Taiwan is now free. We need to keep it this way. Time is on our side, I believe.