US should ditch Taiwan: New York Times op-ed


NSFW    Commie pandas must have slipped something into the water cooler at the New York Times yesterday, because the paper ran a shockingly ignorant and naïve op-ed suggesting that the US sell out Taiwan to China if Beijing would write off the US$1.14 trillion in American debt it currently holds.

In To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan, former Marine and Harvard fellow Paul V. Kane states that America's relationship with Taiwan is a Cold War anachronism that offers little strategic benefit to the US, observing that "absorption into mainland China is inevitable." Kane notes that such a deal would benefit China economically, as it would no longer have to spend the US$30 billion to US$50 billion a year that it currently uses for things like the 1,500 missiles China has pointed at Taiwan.

Kane wants President Barack Obama to make a backroom deal with the Communists in Beijing in which the US would agree to end "American military assistance and arms sales to Taiwan and terminate the current United States-Taiwan defense arrangement by 2015."

We're Next Media Animation, not Foreign Affairs. So here it is in a nutshell: China would not stop with Taiwan. Gobbling up Taiwan is only one step in the People's Liberation Army Navy's plans (paywall) to develop a blue water navy that would project power out to Hawaii. If the US abandoned Taiwan, American allies in the region would wonder if they were next and reevaluate their own relationships with the US; if China controlled Taiwan, it would have a stranglehold on Japan and South Korea, which rely on maritime trade for survival.

Kane repeats a common misconception that since Taiwan "is gradually integrating with China economically" its "absorption into mainland China is inevitable." Taiwan is becoming deeply integrated economically with China and it shares a common culture and national language with China. So what? Canada speaks English and is tied economically to the US up the yin-yang. Is Canada's absorption into America also inevitable?

Selling out Taiwan to shed 10% of the national debt would not change the political and economic dysfunction that got the US into trouble in the first place. It would only strengthen China's hand.
11-11-11: what does it mean?

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