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United Daily News: U.S. official's views contrary to Tsai's

United Daily News: U.S. official's views contrary to Tsai's

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan is contributing to China's dominance in Southeast Asia by signing an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China.
It was a warning more to Washington than to Taiwan and was meant to spur the U.S. to speak out against the ECFA, on concern that the pact will threaten the U.S. status in the region.
But Washington's opinion on the issue is completely the opposite of Tsai's. A Department of State deputy spokesman called the pact an encouraging positive development, while David Shear, deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, welcomed it as a move beneficial to the whole world.
By holding up Taiwan as an example of modern democracy to the whole world, Shear gave Taipei the highest U.S. endorsement in the last six decades.
The DPP should examine why Washington would view the ECFA in a completely different light from Tsai. Why is Washington oblivious to Tsai's concerns that the ECFA will aid China's rise to the detriment of the U.S? Tsai's concerns reflect an outdated Cold War view, while Shear's opinion is a post-Cold War view of the 21st Century.
Tsai claimed that the ECFA will boost China's presence in Southeast Asia, while Shear sees the pact as Taiwan's response to China's trade integration with ASEAN.
Tsai is of the opinion that Taiwan should help halt China's rise, while Shear thinks Taiwan should improve its business environment to attract foreign investors.
Tsai thinks Taiwan's sole role in the region is to oppose China, but Shear is of the view that Taiwan could develop into a modern democracy without giving up its Chinese origins.
Political analysts have observed that Washington never criticizes President Ma Ying-jeou's China policy, but rather has piled praise on him almost to a fault.
Skeptics may see this as a step by Washington to get rid of its responsibilities toward Taiwan, but a more plausible explanation is that Washington has altered its China policy from military confrontation to competitive cooperation on political and economic matters.
Former Presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian overestimated Taiwan's role as a U.S. pawn to keep China in check and they placed too much confidence in the U.S.' military commitment to Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen has erred in the same way, only much more.
Washington is not going to be sidelined in the region, as Tsai thinks. Rather, Taiwan is about to lose its role on the regional stage, as suggested by Shear. Tsai and her party should take heed of Shear's warning. (abstract of China Times' editorial, July 16, 2010) (By Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2021-07-31 18:16 GMT+08:00