Bolton Nailed It; Taiwan Needs to be Independent

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Tuesday April 01, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan deserves full diplomatic recognition by the USA and other nations. These nations should recognize the state that has existed for some time in Taiwan, and the state that the Taiwanese wish to preserve. That was the gist of John R. Bolton's piece in the March 29 edition of the "Los Angeles Times" which highlighted the refreshing approach that Taiwan needs to be independent, to have a healthy economy and to maintain ties with China.

Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations, and now a senior fellow at the American Enterprises Institute, did not quibble in condemning the obscure policy that the USA has unfortunately maintained; he also surprisingly stated that the problems with the administration of Chen Shui-bian were not so much the fault of what Taiwan did but rather mistakes that were made in Washington. For the twenty three million people of this fast-growing democracy, it was refreshing to hear these opinions finally voiced openly in the West.

All this would not even prejudice the obscure one China policy of the USA and would do more to create peace in the Taiwan Strait. Bolton concluded that the US, Europe, and Japan should support the democracy in Taiwan; so it would be a natural consequence that an independent Taiwan should also have membership in the United Nations, an opinion shared by over 80 per cent of the Taiwanese.

For this writer it was equally rewarding to hear Bolton speak against the tide of current State Department thought which has too long patronized and catered to China's wishes. Yet it is ironic (but on closer examination perhaps revealing) that it would take the election of Ma Ying-jeou, a man who had previously advocated reunification with China to draw such opinions out. You will hear more on this topic later.