Tuesday, March 08, 2005

File this away...

...in the "thank you for not paying attention" department. MSNBC reports that China has approved military action against Taiwan if the island nation decides to formally secede. According to the law:

If possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ nonpeaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Coupled with recent reports that China's military presents a growing threat to the US and the Asia region, this is a pretty unfortunate development. Further, the US is bound to assist Taiwan in defending herself. Consider this policy statement from the Bush Administration:

Our policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan's future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.

The Bush Administration's stated position, which is not really different from the prior policy, is that the US will defend Taiwan militarily. Well, nobody's really paying attention to this stuff (Iraq and Jen and Brad and all) but this is scary stuff.


Throwsize said...

Scary stuff, no doubt.

China has started to flex military as well as financial muscles in recent years, and most of it has completely eluded the mainsteam press.

They have been particularly agressive in covering their future energy needs.

Given the global economic imbalances, and the vulnerable economic position of the United States generally, it doesn't take much imagination to see how this could be the beginning of the next great global conflict.

pck said...

I agree with throwsize on this one.

I've kept 1/2 an eye on this region for a number of years. We had teh editor for the Far East Review come to campus in undergrad. His comments on China were enlightening, to say the least.

He pretty much predicted this development.

I wonder how much N. Korea is pushing this; I'm sure they are more than happy to see it.

However, would that be because China's attention is turned (however briefly) away from them?

One final comment, the previous edition of FORTUNE (i know i still owe you one, atl) had a large section dealing with commerce in China, and focused on China's growing relationship with Iran.