Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Taiwan applies (rhetorical) brakes

Of late Taiwan has appeared to be a country only dimly interested in its survival as an independent entity. While China's military buildup across the Taiwan straits has proceeded apace, Taiwan has proceeded with its economic integration with China while ignoring the imperative of building up its own military strength. Popular visits by Kuomintang leaders to the mainland have further fed the impression that more hard-nosed thinking is out of style in Taipei.
The recent speech by President Chen is a departure from this trend. He has re-emphasized the importance of Taiwan's military modernization and of diversifying Taiwan's economic ties. All if this is eminently sensible - it remains to be seen if the island's political system will permit any actual progress on this anytime soon.


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