Made In Taiwan
Time to do a little counter-reporting. From today’s New York Times:
As China convenes its Parliament this week, its leaders seem less agitated about the nettlesome issue of Taiwan than they have been for some time.
Quite possibly because Bush has said he’ll protect Taiwan, and the last five months have shown what his word means.
In his opening speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji repeated an offer to resume negotiations between China and Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a rogue province. He did not, however, raise the prospect of using military force against the island.
Look, China has the military power to destroy Taiwan, but they do not have the ability to secure air superiority over the island, naval supremacy in the Straits, force a multi-divisional landing on Taiwanese beaches, secure an airhead with paratroops, then keep all those soldiers fed, armed, clothed, and medically treated. So I’m glad to see that Rongji has decided to, at least momentarily, dabble in reality.
It was the second major address by a Chinese official recently that did not contain this customary warning. To people here who parse every utterance from Beijing for deeper meaning, these are signs that China is less worried that Taiwan will declare independence.
Taiwan won’t declare independence, because they fear your missiles. But VodkaPundit argues that the US should go ahead and recognize Taiwan, because Beijing certainly fears ours. Also, there’s that little tiny details of Taipei being an freely-elected government with rule of law and free markets and free speech and all those nice things we’re supposed to be in the business of promoting.
The rest of the story is actually quite interesting, listing all the little ways Taiwan is exerting independence without actually declaring it. Gone are many of the “Republic of China” slogans, in favor, simply, of “Taiwan.” Hell, the island is no longer even ruled by the Chinese Nationalist Party who gave it the ROC moniker back in ’49.
VodkaPundit says: Check it out.
UPDATE: Vodka-swilling half-Jewish warmonger and swarthy East Indian libertarian — separated at birth?