Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Ending the China-Taiwan standoff

I read with interest "Not Declaring Independence: In China- Taiwan standoff, a key retreat," (Dec. 22). The article repeatedly referred to the threat by Beijing to use military might, if necessary, against Taiwan to force reunification.

Beijing fully understands the government policy of Taiwan that does not advocate independence. Instead, we seek eventual unification with the mainland under certain conditions - namely, the mainland must be free and democratic. In view of this, it is unnecessary for Beijing to intimidate the people of Taiwan with continued threats of force. Taiwan has worked arduously for the impressive accomplishments it has achieved on the path to a full-fledged democracy. We regularly hold elections of public officials at all levels, including the office of the president. Taiwan's political system is open, free, and replete with a thriving multiparty system. In China, merely attempting to register a democratic party brings a lengthy prison sentence, as in the case of Chinese dissident Wang Youcai. It is understandable that Taiwan's 21 million people are rightly cautious in their approach to reunification with Beijing. China could make great strides in improving cross-strait relations with Taiwan if it publicly renounces the use of force to resolve the unification issue and halts its effort to isolate Taiwan from the international community. Only in this way could it successfully seek to win over the minds and hearts of the people of Taiwan and gain trust. William Yih Boston Director, Information Division Taipei Economic & Cultural Office True picture of South Korean military "S. Korea Hit by a wave of military mishaps" (Dec. 23) included a gross distortion of the role of the military in South Korean society. It said: "In the 1950s, graduates of the Korean Military Academy (KMA) took top jobs, including the presidency. Until the mid-1970s, the military was the leading edge of technology, education, and administration, attracting the best and brightest. …

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