UPDATED II: I’m moving this piece to the top. Foreign Policy in Focus has absolute dreck by a pro-China “scholar” who actually has a teaching post in the US. Stop by and leave some good blog love for this loser:

The pluralistic setting in Taiwan guarantees that the island’s politics will be complicated. The current race for greater international recognition is also being fueled by several other factors. One is the DPP’s accelerated effort to desinify the island, which divides population and fuels hostility with the mainland. It remains to be seen how the dilution of the island’s Chinese culture will gain any tangible results for Taiwan. The island may change its name, as Michael Jackson did his face. But it cannot sail away from the Mainland.

There’s quite a few paragraphs of this garbage — note the crack about Michael Jackson, which is hard to read as anything other than racist….. UPDATE III: FPIF DID NOT take my comments, and the comment function seems to be off. That’s what happens when you run propaganda instead of scholarship, guys. UPDATE IV: Nope, I’m wrong, apparently it is a system problem. Also, remember that this is part of a debate with the other side represented here.


Haaretz has a great editorial on Taiwan and the UN this week:

And Israel? It has no choice but to go with the flow, as they say in Jerusalem. At least this is what Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni did during her visit to Beijing last week, when she praised the “shared values” of China and Israel. Some in Taipei wondered exactly what the minister was referring to - values like democracy, human rights and freedom of speech? The insult to the Taiwanese is particularly harsh in light of their identification with Israel: two small and effervescent “real democracies” engaged in their own security-existential troubles, exposed to threats from a huge external enemy and dependent on American protection and aid. Some call Taiwan “the Israel of the Pacific” and “the David of the Far East.”

Chen is not naive. He knows his initiative will fail. He knows the “regional Goliath” is also a “global Goliath” and that “might makes right” turns the wheels of international diplomacy. His role boils down to showing the world its moral nakedness.

Rock on, Haaretz! Taiwan Journal, whose new issue is out, notes that National Geographic says Taiwan is Asia’s Best Kept Travel secret:

The National Geographic Traveler, a popular travel magazine in the United States, published a special report to introduce Taiwan’s diverse sights and cultural features in its November/December 2007 issue. In the 13-page article, the NGT’s senior editor Jayne Wise and chief researcher Marilyn Terrell wrote about their voyage to Taiwan and their visits to various parts of the island.

Titled “You have won a trip to … Taiwan!,” the report pointed out that the two from the United States traveled halfway around the world. When Wise and Terrell arrived, they discovered Taiwan and called the island “Asia’s best-kept secret,” according to the article.

The duo, who had never been to Asia before, made their trip to Taiwan in November 2004 after Wise won two free round-trip air tickets to Taiwan in a lucky drawing in February of the same year. The NGT dispatched its photographer and contributing editor Justin Guariglia to Taiwan in May 2005 to take photos, which cover seven full pages in the story.

UDATE: a friend in the know points out that the “lucky drawing” has the GIO’s fingerprints all over it. Conservative Richard Halloran reviews the US One China Policy — Time for Change?

Perhaps it is time for the Bush administration to fashion a policy of a) strategic clarity, in which the U.S. would set out explicitly its objectives in the confrontation between China and Taiwan, and b) tactical ambiguity, in which the U.S. would declare that it would respond to threats to the peace in a political, economic and military manner of its own choosing and timing.

The United States would dump the “one-China policy” in favor of asserting that the ultimate resolution of the Taiwan question would be governed by self-determination. Whatever the new policy would be labeled, it would insist that the people of Taiwan be allowed to decide whether they want to be independent or join China.

Halloran pointed the way to this long speech by Alan Romberg,

When I told my friend and colleague, Professor Steven Goldstein, Director of the Fairbank Center’s Taiwan Studies Workshop, that I had chosen the topic The U.S. “One China” Policy: Time for a Change?”, he asked if I had gone over to the “dark side.” Though he knew the answer, his rhetorical question reflected the fact that, at least in some of the circles he and I travel in there is a nascent, and perhaps more than nascent, debate about the relevance of the “one China” policy today. Calls for change come from both sides- on the one hand, from those who say the United States should “face reality,” as well as live up to its ideals, and support the independence of democratic Taiwan; and, on the other hand, from those who favor open U.S. support, not just for peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, but for peaceful reunification as the only way to avoid an eventual crisis, indeed an eventual war.

That Americans coming at this issue from such polar opposite positions should see such fundamental problems with the policy suggests to me that the policy’s essential nuance, its “art,” if you will, and its value, are being lost and that for this reason alone it merits attention.