2005-03-13

Brazen China

This week China's leaders are pushing a new domestic law intended to legitimize their ambition to annex a certain self-governing democracy nearby. The Washington Post calls the 'anti-secession' move what it is:
President Hu Jintao has now made clear that Beijing's policy of openly threatening Taiwan with a war of aggression remains intact.... Mr. Hu's answer [to Taiwan's good will] is to mandate, by law, that peaceful democratic political activity on Taiwan trigger invasion by China.
The Post editorial is getting plenty of attention here in Taiwan. I first learned of it from some local TV commentators on a morning show. They especially liked the way the piece named some of Beijing's enablers:
France and Germany--fierce opponents of military force when used by the United States against a vicious dictator--remain eager to sell weapons systems to a regime that has formally committed itself to aggression against a democracy. Rather than joining with the United States to help keep the peace in Asia, they would cater to the country that promises to break it.
Many Taiwanese have wanted to see the world taking more notice.

Wonder what readers inside China think of the Post piece? Wonder no more. They can't see it.

The Great Firewall of China--a massive system of electronic censorship--blocks access inside China to thousands of web sites that discuss Taiwan, Tibet, Tiananmen Square, Falun Gong, recent mass protests, and any other subject the regime finds unflattering. Expat colleagues of mine who travel to China report that, once inside the country, they can't access their own blogs. Lack of access may be just as well for the health of China's citizens, whose activities on the web are tracked and who are subject to arrest if they view disapproved material.

Such is life inside the 'people's republic' where only the trade is free (on a good day). No one should find it bewildering that Taiwan's citizens would be loathe to sign up.

Bravo, Post.
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