The Peaceful Need for Japan and Taiwan to Support Each Other

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Thursday December 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

No one has ever defined what the status quo in the Taiwan Strait actually is, was or should be though everyone talks about it. So the charade continues that there is a status quo and that everyone supports it (peace included). Despite that, China regularly adds to the number of missiles it has pointed at Taiwan; it makes military threats and anti-secession laws, and jails any and all pro-democracy dissidents within its borders. In keeping with the same mythical status quo, Taiwan under the Ma government says that it believes its 23 million people should control their destiny yet it consistently ignores their input, currently tries to ram a non-transparent ECFA down their throats and promotes pro-unification policies. And the USA, if pressed, will state that Taiwan's status is undetermined, but in its actions the USA neglects any input from the actual people of Taiwan and tries to accommodate the China market. What then really needs to be done?

If peace and stability is the real goal that everyone wants from this crazy merry-go-round charade of the so-called status quo in the Taiwan Strait, then it is time to drop the charade. In its place, I recommend two straightforward and perhaps shocking proposals that need to be promoted.

First, if a lasting peace is truly desired by all, then Taiwan's democracy must not be allowed to be swallowed by a greedy China that has destroyed the cultures of Tibet and Xinjiang. It is Taiwan's democracy and not a fictitious will-of-the-wisp status quo that must be made the sine qua non in the solution.

Why is Taiwan's democracy so important? The source of the problem in the Taiwan Strait is, was and has always been China's belligerent intent on hegemony. Mask it as they try, there is no peaceful rising in the racial chauvinism of China's growth. Instead we find an ambition still fueled of a century and a half of wounded pride over what in reality was being a conquered part of a Manchu kingdom. We further find a miniscule cabal (the Politburo) which relies on non-transparent authoritarian rule to control and brainwash its minions, squash dissent and turn the people's hatred outward from China's inner corruption and ambition.

Taiwan's democracy is what continually gives the lie to the ambitions of this cabal for Taiwan was under a similar cabal with similar ambitions and similar propaganda for over forty years. Despite that Taiwan's people managed to overcome and outlast that authoritarian despotism. Taiwan's democracy stands as a mirror like proof that change can happen.

Having Taiwan as a mirror guide however is not enough. While the cabal presses on, the second requirement for peace (strange as it might seem) is not the feeble, half-hearted effort of the USA providing small defensive weapons under the Taiwan Relations Act. If there is to be real peace, Taiwan's peaceful neighbor, Japan, must be provided with nuclear weapons. What is this? Provide nuclear weapons to Japan a country with a long post-war policy of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear weapons on its territory? Yes, it is time to change that policy.

Is this nuclear proliferation? To an extent it is, but look at the reality. China has already been consistently responsible for nuclear proliferation in Asia. It is China that that helped Pakistan get nuclear weapons to counter China's potential future enemy of a nuclear India. It is China that helped North Korea develop nuclear weapons to counter China's age old enemy of Japan. It is China that has also been instrumental in aiding Iran in its nuclear pursuits on another front. And now China covets Taiwan so it can complete its hegemony by having blue water access for its navy and controlling the sea lanes between the East and South China Seas.

There are those whose mindset is still in the era of the 1940s who worry about Japan, but World War II ended more than a half century ago (67 years to be exact). Since then Japan has been one of the most peaceful and responsible countries in Asia. Japan is also one of the few countries that China would most fear if it had nuclear weapons. And it is Japan that has more at stake in Asia than the USA; Japan understands China's character and ambition more.

The charade of the Taiwan Strait continues. The USA and China play word games over what is "one China" and what is "acknowledging China's position." Those games can continue, but if there is to be real peace in the Taiwan Strait, it will be a nuclear Japan and not a nuclear USA that will provide the balance.