Nat Bellocchi, a former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, appeared in today's Taipei Times with this op-ed, Pitfalls and possibilities in Obama’s Taiwan line.
He expressed his opinion about how the global community (especially US and China) should interact with Taiwan in order to foster true peace and stability in the region, his remarks really made my day:
From an international perspective, Taiwan is an example of a successful transition to democracy. The most rational and reasonable outcome of Taiwan’s normalization of relations with China would be acceptance of this young democracy in the international family of nations. This is a process that will need cooperation from all sides; for its part, China will need to see that it is in its own interests to come to terms with a small and democratic neighbor with which it can live in peace.Remember, Taiwanese never threaten nor challenge the existence of China. It was the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who had fought against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the past. It is the CCP who has continuously threatened Taiwanese with weapons. And it is the US officials who have continuously ignored the rights and wills of the Taiwanese people in pursuit of some US politicians' own business interests, example. A search on the internet with the combination of words like "Kissinger and China and business" will lead you to a dozen of related entries, including his recent visit to China in October 2009. Kissinger is China's favorite guest!
It is not fair to blame all the presidents, like Clinton, who followed the groundwork laid by Kissinger. However, it is up to the American people to address the issue of conflict of interest involving government officials and / or advisors and their foreign venture consulting businesses as it is beyond the scope of this post. The US foreign relations and policies have often been dominated by the interests of these consulting firms and their clients.
Nat Bellocchi also had a nice piece back in August, 2005, Identity issue raises its head again. It contains identity issue as well as a warning for the Taiwanese who believe that maintaining the status-quo is the best choice for Taiwan. For people who pay little attention about the gradual shifting of the status-quo, Bellocchi's advice in that piece was:
Unfortunately, Taiwan has one priority issue that overshadows all the others -- the lack of consensus on national identity.
That is an enormous task, but a critical necessity. Voters see "status quo" as the answer -- thinking that staying neutral can last as long as they like. My last article tried to explain why this is illusory. The result would not be a choice, but eventual unification. Ambiguity dominates the language between Taiwan, the US and China. In addition, election campaigns tend to be dominated by unreliable rhetoric. With the lack of interest among so many voters, addressing this problem should be today's top priority.