Recognize Taiwan!

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

Whether the United States will actually establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba remains to be seen. There is no doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama will be punching it out with an all-Republican U.S. Congress in 2015. Whether we as a country will have relations with Cuba and will end the embargo will be among the grand fights for next year. But there is in my view one country that the United States should above all others reestablish relations with—Taiwan. When the United States established relations with the People’s Republic of China, it broke all relations with Taiwan (because the Chinese government wanted that). Besides betrayal of an ally, the United States did not give much though about someday China becoming an economic and military superpower that really does not share the same values Americans hold dear. Those values are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to peacefully assemble and seek redress for passed grievances, and the right to be secure in one’s own home and private property from arbitrary search and seizure.

These same rights do not exist in China. The Chinese government maintains a large and all-pervasive secret police, it limits freedom of religion, it does not allow freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and it certainly does not like people peacefully assembling to air their grievances. Taiwan on the other hand has freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peacefully assemble, and some protections from arbitrary search and seizure. With all of these things that both the United States and Taiwan have in common, why doesn’t the U.S. government reestablish relations with Taiwan? It is because the Chinese government strongly objects and because they say that it would “violate the one-China policy.” Well, China does not rule Taiwan, and the Taiwanese do not want to live under Chinese Communist rule. That the Chinese government has been able to limit most governments of the world from recognizing Taiwan does not mean that the Chinese government is right.

The sad thing is that the Chinese government is using economic ties and its holding of part of America’s national debt hostage to prevent this country from recognizing Taiwan. It is equally sad that we have no real leadership in fighting off what I can only call China’s blackmail in recognizing Taiwan again. Taiwan is not only a multi-party democratic state but is also largely pro-American. How many countries can we say that of these days?! I seriously doubt that there will be any leadership, anyone with guts out there to come to Taiwan’s aid and give that country and its people the recognition it deserves. In my view, if we can recognize a Communist state with a fairly anti-American government stance, then we can and should recognize a country with a democratic and pro-American policy.

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