Monday, March 2, 2009

What's Taiwan's Grand Strategy? Part 2

(Continue from Part 1)

That's ignore whether those government of Taiwan in history are good or bad, short or long lived and what type and what origin etc. One thing seems consistent is that it's always political deceit, foolishness, betrayal that brought the political leaders to their tragic or humiliating end (some die, some flee) and leave the average people to suffer the consequences, in many instances for generations.

Of course, it's very clear that KMT has its own political agenda and ideology (unification). But they always disguised this in Economic issue, as if they are only concern about economy. Formosan have to see through these deception, and stand firm on the political issues. This is why I am writing this, to organize my thoughts somewhat on this issue. We all know most of the people don't want the grand strategy (unification) of KMT to succeed, but what is our grand strategy? What is our goal? We want to be independent, sure, but how? And what type of country could/should Taiwan become?

Just to Get One Issue Out of The Way: On China

To think of a "Grand Strategy", one thing that has to be recognize is that some people in Taiwan nowadays look to China for no particular reason whatsoever. For example, they often sided with Chinese government on some issues, finding excuses for the authoritarian regime. On the economy, they often look to China as the only way and the only economic future of this world. They keep focusing on the so called "cross straight relation." They have what I call "China Centric" view. This IMO is due to the long period, approximately 50 years, of brain washing and martial laws rule (silencing people therefore making KMT propaganda the only voice). Even today, some media and school are still brain washing our kids with "China Centric" view. To further prove my point, Michael's recent post ( shows that even back in the 1950 there are perhaps more percentage of Formosan aware of Taiwan's issues and in saw the problem with more clarity. Formosan today perhaps need to look in the past to find some new ideas for the future, and to establish what I call "Taiwan Centric" view.

Recognizing this, it's easy to realize that a lot of policy and arguments are just not necessary and irrational, because they are just China Centric. Those type of stuff does not really help Taiwan in anyway, because they are actually discussing China's future, not Taiwan's. It sounds so stupid and obvious for me to even put it here, but far too many times I see Formosan get distracted while discussing about Taiwan, and wasting their thoughts and breath on matters that concern only China and not Taiwan. Of course the political party like KMT seems to only see China and nothing else. It's like they are obsessed with China, like a horny teenager whose hormone has flooded the brain.

Granted, Chinese economy was booming and there are a lot of thing worthy of Formosan concern. But that does not mean we should look at the world from Beijing's point of view. Economic wise there are so many other possible opportunities out there (India, Brazil, SE Asia...etc), why do we focus only on China? The only advantage China offered is the common language (before it has cheap labor but now that does not count anymore because there are places with even cheaper ones). But is the language really that important, when it comes to foreign investment and trade? If Taiwan is to prosper, surely it cannot rely on only one language. Furthermore, putting all eggs in one basket is just risky. Diversification is still one of the basic investment maxim. Another problem is that...well, China's market is not actually "free." The state still has way too much control over it, and the lack of Rule of Law put business owner at risk because the government can bully them anytime. This type of bullying have happen many times before already, and I don't think it will stop anytime soon.

Finally, China still remains hostile toward Taiwan. I am not just talking about military hostility here. I am talking about their general intention and overall policy. It's well known that China always limits Taiwan's international space, uses military threat to limit Taiwan's options, and economic pressure to subdue Taiwan's spirit. They are the only country in this world that claims Taiwan as their territory. Therefore they remain an enemy of Taiwan. It's the unfortunate but simple truth. One day perhaps China will give up its claim and the hostility will seize to exist. Until that day, Taiwan still needs to remain vigilant, and there is no point of keeping focus on China.

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