National Defense Is Part Of the Equation

Today there are 3 different article from Liberty Times that caught my attention.  Titles with my attempt translation:

The first article describe how CSBA  create a scenario, and highlights the possible problem in Taiwan Strait in the future, and how this could be one of the top challenge for the USA in the next decade.  To be ready of the potential crisis, the study recommend the Pentagon to have long term planning with discussion and debate about issues such as what to sell to Taiwan etc.  It does not seem to contain things that are too surprising.  However, the general feeling is that the US is focusing very strongly in the middle east.  To China, the current US policy is more of appeasement, because the US policy makers view China as a partner (of course, with the theory that China will turn democratic once it become rich…blah blah blah, we all heard it a thousand times before).  However, with the recent Google incident, one wonder if those policy makers will at least start to have some self-doubt about their believe that investment and trade will automatically bring out democracy and freedom…(even just spell that out sounds really like bull shit.  Economic well beings is necessary for democracy perhaps, but economic well beings do not bring out democracy.  Just look at WW2 era Japan and Germany.  Their people live well enough, but where is the democracy.  Japan’s parliament are occupied by retired military generals, and Germany is ruled by the one and only National Socialist Party, or Nazi for short).  What is perhaps more dire is that currently the US’s Taiwan policy is basically no policy.

The second article come from a famous military magazine editor.  However, although he has his expertise, we of course can only take his idea as only an idea.  The plausibility etc of this idea needs further investigations.  The system and technology is there (Standard Missile 3, developed jointly by the US and Japan), but it could be extremely expensive.  And just how effective it is we don’t know for sure.  Israel does seem to show some interest as well.  However, the missile problem faced by Israel and Taiwan is not exactly the same.  Israel’s main potential missile threat comes from Iran, but Taiwan’s comes from China.  Chinese missile forces is definitely a lot more mature than Iranian, which just got started.  And of course, there is also the nuclear warheads problem…

The 3rd article Chinese spouse in Taiwan.  Currently, there are quite a lot of them, mostly women, as the article pointed out.  To most country, immigration can be a good source of human capitals and exchange of cultures.  However, there are also considerable problems with immigration if it’s not handled properly.  Right now, Taiwan seems to have an imbalance (large portion of Chinese)  problem.  This is indeed a potential problem in my opinion.  However, the complexity of this issue is perhaps beyond my knowledge, because it involves social and human psychologies etc.  The problem I see with this though is the following:

  • Next generation problem: the children raised by Chinese in Taiwan, what would they think about Taiwan?
  • Integration problem:  as can be noted in North America and Europe, a lot of times immigrants, especially first generation, do not fully integrate into the rest of society.  They usually formed a niche community etc.  This is natural and might not be such a bad thing.  However, if its Chinese forming a niche within Taiwan, without much integration with the rest of Taiwanese society, what will happen?  Because afterall, the way Chinese view Taiwan is very different from new immigrants viewing the USA.

This topic might be quite interesing…some academia or government agencies should look into this and plan ahead.

The Importance of National Defense

This news just reminds me of some thoughts I had recently.  One of the strategic national objective of Taiwan is to achieve independence.  The independence I refer here is not just a name change or a new constitution, although have those would be great, even in practical purpose, because wrong name gives confusion and wrong constituion creates problems.  However, what I am talking about here is a bit bigger in scope.  I define it to include free from Chinese threats, coersion and international pressure.  In another word, Taiwan should be able to independently negotiate FTA with other coutnries or bloc if it choose to.  However, to do this, one thing has to happen: China has to give up.  And that is only going to happen if the following occurs:

  1. Chinese government realize that pressuring, threatening or annexing Taiwan has extremely high cost, to the point that doing so would mean the crumbling of CCP rule.
  2. Chinese government realizes that annexing Taiwan has no benefits whatsoever. 

Point 2 would solve all problem but that is quite impossible.  Of course, one can convince the Chinese government so they lower the value of Taiwan.  However, to convince them to the point that they won’t even bother to open their mouth in UN saying that Taiwan is part of China, blah blah blah, is quite impossible.  Geo-political situation simply does not seem to allow it.

Therefore, point 1 becomes important complimentary strategy.  However, to accomplish this is also very difficult, but we can see the importance of national defense to Taiwan’s objective.  Because without strong defense, all other leverage etc becomes useless.  The ideal situation will be that an Chinese invasion becomes impossible, blockage becomes breakable, and missiles barrage becomes useless.  If that is the case, Taiwan would be indepent already.  However, that ideal situation only exists in fantasy land, but it does illustrate the point: national defense is an important part of the equation.

UPDATE:  Someone replied to the 3rd article.  Ha, I knew this topic is going to be controversial.  Damn, maybe the next hot topic that will never get solved would the the policy on Chinese spouse.  I think that the article is debatable, but this reply does have some logical holes in it.

Point 1 of the reply said that the problem of Taiwan population is that it’s decreasing, not increasing.  However, that missed the point of the original article.  The original article is actually saying that the current population is already too many.  Therefore, a bit of decrease in population would actually be a good thing. 

Point 2 is correct…however that is exactly the concern of the original article.  In my opinion, immigration is immigration, it does not matter if it is through marriage or otherwise.  They are moving and living here, that is immigration, by the broader definition.

The final part points out we should treat them well etc since they are now part of Taiwan society.  That is correct.  We cannot treat them otherwise.  Once they are in,  they are part of Taiwan.  However, that is also the concern of the original article, and part of my concern. 

As one of the example shown by the original article, some Chinese women does not think too highly of Taiwanese women…for some reason.  It is this kind of view that I am worried about.  As I mentioned before, Chinese immigrants’ view of Taiwan is very different from immigrants view of the USA.  Chinese are educated from young that Taiwan is part of China etc, which come into clash with the majority view of Taiwan.  From this, other bad feeling toward Taiwan might come out.  Furthermore, not all immigrants like the country they immigrate to.  That sounds very weird, but it’s empirically true. 

The case of Chinese spouse in Taiwan is very unique in my opinion.  There might not bet that many countries which experience this type of situation before.  So my view is still that we should treat the Chinese spouse well, of course.  However, the long term implication of this needs to be understood, and potential problems need to be pointed out.

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