Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Who Risks Taiwan?

I find this complaint about the Taiwan Travel Act ridiculous:

So-called friends of Taiwan in the United States are putting the island at risk as never before. ...

If the United States implements the Taiwan Travel Act in a manner inconsistent with its traditional one-China policy, the principal damage will be to Taiwan itself. Taiwan will experience reduced trade, increased tensions, a heavier burden of military expenditures, and poorer prospects. Moreover, Taiwan would compromise its freedom of action on a key aspect of its own security, which is the ability to calibrate the level of threat through careful management of its relationship with mainland China. Unless wiser heads prevail, the United States could unwittingly precipitate the most dangerous crisis since the end of the Cold War. ...

Blurring the distinction between official and unofficial relations will damage U.S. credibility, undermine Taiwan’s future prosperity, and generate dangerous tensions. Putting the future at risk is not good policy.

So this expert wants me to accept that an American refusal to stand up to China over American officials traveling to Taiwan will somehow not undermine Chinese belief that America will fight to defend Taiwan if the Chines attack Taiwan.

If Taiwan thinks such visits by American officials are dangerous, they can refuse to allow them. I'd rather have that situation than one where outside experts tell Taiwan what is really best for their independence and freedom.

Heck, Taiwan might even be able to negotiate with China to reduce the military threat to Taiwan by using visits as bargaining chips.

Would China pull back missiles aimed at Taiwan to keep an undersecretary of housing from visiting Taiwan?

Or scale back military exercises to keep Secretary of Defense Mattis from visiting Taiwan?

I'm thinking so-called experts are involved in making the travel act seem like the threat to peace when the real threat to peace is China's claims on a free and prosperous Taiwan and China's threats to destroy it by force and drag it into China's empire.

And don't forget that China threatens to attack simply if Taiwan puts off too long complying with China's demands to absorb Taiwan.

So just who is putting the future at risk?