Recently, Paul V Kane wrote a piece, To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan, that quickly spread like wild fire around the Internet, suggesting that in order to appease China and get relations on a better track the US could sell-out Taiwan. The basic jist of his argument was, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could magically make the $1.2trillion in US bonds disappear, if the US military stopped selling arms to Taiwan and basically agreed that it was no longer under any US protective umbrella. Obviously, in doing this, Taiwanese democracy would be seriously compromised, as it would be essentially extinguished by a democratically averse CCP. However, according to Kane, the trade off would be worth it, even a “game changer.” He adds, “part of the savvy package” could include getting the CCP to stop supporting other pariah states, like Iran, Syria or North Korea. The deal could potentially save the US billions. Giving up Taiwan would be the proverbial silver bullet that could quickly dispose of America’s most stubborn “cold-war-era entanglements.” To boot Kane excitedly declares that the move could also shave off 10% off the National Debt without even doing a thing.
Essentially what Kane is saying is that throwing the fledgling democracy of Taiwan on the funeral-pyre in order to balance the US budget is a price worth paying. After all, they’re Chinese not American and they’ll probably be forced to embrace the Communist Mainland at some stage anyway, so why not now? In this way, the US can also do a bit of diplomatic horse-trading to its financial benefit as well. Without this, Kane argued, the US risks a very costly, multi-billion dollar war with China over Taiwan that would benefit no one, least of all Taiwan. In Kane’s confused head the “The battle today is between competing balance sheets, and it is fought in board rooms; it is not a geopolitical struggle to militarily or ideologically “dominate” the Pacific.”
Why Kane would want to be singing from the CCP’s hymn sheet is anyone’s guess. Let’s hope he’s getting paid more than 50cents for this trash. After all it’s no great secret that the CCP is collecting up US debt in order to gain political leverage. They’re not buying US debt because they love America. Kane has hardly hit on anything new here. The CCP would gladly pay $1.2 trillion for Taiwan. However, what’s shocking and somewhat disappointing is that Kane openly declares that in 2011 balance sheets trump democracies.
On a human level, the idea is so lacking in any moral substance that it hurts to really digest it. The fact that anyone could equate the real notion of basic human freedoms with the ether of a country’s balance sheet is beyond callous and unfeeling. Yet, we all know this kind of thing has happened before in history, many a country’s government has been sold down the river in order to make a buck. Kane seems to have no problem with history repeating itself again and concludes that the mercy killing of Taiwan’s democracy is ultimately a utilitarian move to save the greater democracy of the United States – his momma must be proud of his patriotism!
Running in tandem with the notion that money trumps freedom is the idea that Chinese people just aren’t suited for democracy anyway. So, Kane would certainly proffer, why should Americans die trying to give it them? Instead of ideology, go with the money, just like the CCP has done to its incredible advantage. China has 1.3 billion people who aren’t exactly dying for democracy, so why should the ‘free world’ sacrifice lives and more importantly their balance sheets for a mere 23 million Chinese in Taiwan? This idea that Chinese people aren’t suited to democracy isn’t only limited to the delusional Kane. It’s a common mantra of the CCP that is cleverly manipulated into the mainstream global media by so called western China experts. Only recently I saw a TV clip where Oded Shenkar, author of The Chinese Century, unashamedly extolled, “with the exception of Taiwan, there is no precedent of a democratic Chinese Society”. Of course, Shenkar may want to make himself out as an expert on Chinese people, but he couldn’t be more wrong if he tried. Sadly, this shows the level of delusion seemingly educated people can reach when they only focus on the economic numbers and not on the greater picture. In relation to Shenkar’s remark, which is basically a mantra of the CCP propaganda machine, repeated verbatim, I’m guessing that he was forgetting the nearly 4 million Chinese that live in the US under democracy, which is equal to population size of the State of Kentucky or the country of New Zealand. Or the nearly 8 million Chinese that live in Thailand, which is larger than the entire population of Switzerland. Don’t forget the 7million Chinese that live in democratic Indonesia, that’s the same population as Israel. Or the 6 million in Malaysia, which is greater than the population of Denmark. Or the 1.3 million Chinese that live in Canada, out numbering the entire population of Hawaii. All told, there are over 40 million ethnic Chinese living around the world in democratic countries. Which is equal to the population of Argentina.
So, let’s go back to Shenkar’s comment again, “with the exception of Taiwan, there is no precedent of a democratic Chinese Society”. Is he suggesting that these 40 million Chinese people are not engaging in society or are not Chinese? I’m unclear? In reality, everyone knows that the global Chinese Diasporas are some of the most upright and contributing groups in their chosen democratic societies. Maybe Shenkar should start quoting these figures next time he is on TV rather than the ones the CCP produces on the economy. Only then may he get a little more perspective and more importantly, integrity!
Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that the likes of Kane and Shenkar can still be taken seriously when they extort such ridiculous ideas, which are in essence CCP propaganda proliferated by devious United Front tactics. If we really are to listen to the likes of Kane and Shenkar and conclude that democracy is not for Chinese people and therefore the likes of Taiwan should be sacrificed for the greater good of the world, or at least for a buck, then we truly are as morally bankrupt as the CCP.
Taiwan, is a thriving, sometimes jittery, fledgling democracy. It deserves the protection of every freedom loving person on the planet and it can’t be thrown to the CCP lions in order to balance the books. Taiwan has a population of over 23 million people. That’s a greater population than Australia and little less than Texas, or on a par with the combined populations of Portugal, Ireland, Finland and Norway.
Would the global community torpedo the freedom and rights of these places in order to balance the books?
So, why would over 23 million democratic Chinese in Taiwan be worth any less?
Richard Scotford is a freelance writer living in Hong Kong.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Studies from CUHK and writes the China Rising blog at: http://chinarisingblog.blogspot.com/