Monday, November 01, 2004

What happened to Taiwan?!

So... I have to say that I have great respect for Colin Powell, particularly after reading his memiors, but these comments are inexcusable:

"Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation, and that remains our policy, our firm policy," he said.

In Taipei this was regarded as the harshest, most decisive expression of this principle made for some time, at least during the administration of US President George W Bush. And it was a remark that managed to annoy just about everyone, irrespective of where he or she stood on the political spectrum.

"We want to see both sides not take unilateral action that would prejudice an eventual outcome, a reunification that all parties are seeking," Powell told CNN.

First, the question should not be whether Taiwan is currently independent. It obviously is. It has its own constitution, government, elections, etc. But apparently Powell assumes that they all even still want to be a part of China, which in reality, fewer than a fifth of them do. He also chucked out the window the US position that we take no sides on this except to insist that it be resolved peacefully. I somehow doubt that this will do anything to deter a Chinese military excursion... Please Mr. Powell, think this over some more! This accomplishes nothing other than to infuriate our Taiwanese allies.

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