Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The War of Zhang Mingqing's Inner Ear?

Increased interactions between Taiwan and a China that does not renounce force to absorb Taiwan provide dangers for Taiwan:

A Chinese official who was pushed to the ground by anti-China activists on a visit to Taiwan cut his trip short on Wednesday because he said he felt sore and dizzy.

Protesters attacked Zhang Mingqing, vice chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, in the city of Tainan on Tuesday, leaving him lying on the ground, his glasses at his side, television pictures showed.

Taiwan's leaders see talking as a way to reduce tensions. Today, this incident is just an embarassment for Taiwan. Should China ever seek a pretext to attack Taiwan, such an incident will do very nicely.

There is a long tradition of such things.

UPDATE: Note, too, that an incident wouldn't have to be one that the government exploits to start a war. With Chinese authorities relying more on xenophobic nationalism for communist party-rule legitimacy, the Chinese public might become so outraged over a future incident that they demand war against Taiwan to protect their honor. "Remember the Zhaing!" could be the battle cry. Could the rulers resist such pressure even if they didn't want war at that moment?