The Responsible Center in Taiwan

19 Sep

The Brookings Institution’s Carlos Pascual and Richard C. Bush, III present the ““, arguing that a new generation of “pragmatic” Taiwanese “…see[s] no contradiction between loving Taiwan and pursuing positive cross-Strait economic and political relations.” The overall picture of Taiwan Pascual and Bush present is a positive one fraught with peril if older, extremist views in China and Taiwan, as well as the rest of the world, succeed in surrendering to the fear that Taiwanese democracy is inherently separatist. “The message for Taiwan’s policy makers?and China should take note?is that they would do well to listen to the centrists tendencies of the Taiwan people, who see no contradiction between establishing their identity and recognizing that their prosperity cannot ignore China as a major driver in the world economy.”

On the other hand, takes to task for characterizing Taiwan as a “child” the US needs to “spank” (at the behest of the Communists in Beijing!).

There are two choices (now that Hong Kong is in Beijing’s grasp) in East Asia for a model of Chinese republicanism. We can sigh for relief that Beijing is not an economic basket case (knock on wood!), but that doesn’t mean Taiwan’s more admirable transition from dictatorship to political and economic success is forgettable. Quite the contrary. Pascual and Bush present a Taiwan that’s preferable to Beijing’s authoritarian version of China. The US only needs to keep the extremists from undermining the responsible center.

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