A number of points in the Feb. 12 editorial “Hopeful Talks: China and Taiwan Have a Chance for Progress” are in need of some clarification. The claim that cross-strait relations may eventually resemble the relationship between China and Hong Kong or Macau is misguided. The relationship between mainland China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) is entirely different from that between mainland China and Hong Kong or Macau. Taiwan is a sovereign nation with its own territory, government, military and diplomatic relations.
The talks in Nanjing last week were indeed an important step in the improvement of cross-strait relations, a process that President Ma Ying-jeou’s economic and foreign policies have done a great deal to advance. Taiwan hopes that these talks will help expand cross-strait exchanges and promote regional peace and stability.
But the time is not yet ripe for a discussion of political issues, and Taiwan will never abandon its hard-earned democracy.
Taiwan has historically played an important role as an ally of the United States.
Arms sales help secure Taiwan’s democracy, which will be of even greater strategic importance to the United States as Washington proceeds with its pivot to Asia.
Granting Taiwan membership to the Trans-Pacific Partnership would further advance this strategy and help the entire region find peace and stability.
Deputy Director General
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
New York, N.Y.