In Defense of Taiwan
Over the years I have made no secret of my support for Taiwan,
and my disdain for the communists on the mainland. This past
Monday, Republican Congressman and House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute
that echoes my feelings.
DeLay built his presentation around the prospects for a free trade
agreement with Taiwan, which happens to be America’s 8th –
largest trading partner. The U.S. is Taiwan’s largest. But far
more is at stake here.
Following are excerpts from the speech. All words are
Personally, I am one of the loudest proponents of free trade in
It helps our consumers, helps our business community, creates
jobs, and lowers hidden taxes on the American people.
It opens markets, breaks down economic, social and political
barriers, and sows the seeds of freedom.
Free trade, then, is a win-win economic proposition. But we do
not just support free trade with Taiwan because of its unique
We support free trade with Taiwan because that’s what
democratic allies do.
And Taiwan IS an economic and political ally of the United
States, despite frequent and willful misinterpretation of the “One
China Policy.” .
Unfortunately the “One China” pretense has been elevated by
some to the status of “doctrine.”
Some have wanted to transform this diplomatic nuance into a
recognition of Beijing’s territorial claim over Taiwan: a
recognition that has not and never will exist ..
America’s primary objective in Asia – and everywhere in the
world – is the preservation of democracy and the expansion of
Indeed, when you look at the full scope of the issue, the
proposition of a communist takeover of Taiwan should be
The PRC is a backward, corrupt anachronism run by decrepit
tyrants: old apparatchiks clinging to their dying regime.
The notion that these oppressive and dangerous men could
convince the United States that their murderous ideology should
be imposed on a free and independent Taiwan is absurd.
And refusing to say so, for fear of upsetting Beijing, is not tact: it
is infantilism .
President Bush has said himself the United States will do
“whatever it takes” to help Taiwan defend itself.
We must not allow a thriving democracy to be swallowed up by
a Communist dictatorship. As long as a free and democratic
Taiwan, willing to defend itself, needs help securing its borders,
we will be there.
And – it’s worth noting – the world is learning that these days,
the government of the United States means what it says .
(Bush) understands that, like misery, evil loves company, and
that it must be fought, in all its forms, with all our means, for as
long as it threatens the security of the civilized world .
That same clarity led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
victory over fascism in World War II.
And that same clarity will ensure the course of Asian history is
set by free men and free nations.
It’s our responsibility to make sure that destiny is fulfilled.
Just as there is no moral equivalence between terrorists and
innocent victims, there is no moral equivalence between
tyrannical regimes and free nations .
Look at the crisis with North Korea, where the James Bond terror
fantasy of global nuclear blackmail is considered a mainstream
Look at the SARS outbreak in Communist China, where a closed
and self-interested government reacted too slowly to keep the
disease from infecting people around the world.
Yet at the same time and without irony, Beijing sees keeping
Taiwan out of the World Health Organization as one of its prime
This kind of behavior is only as irresponsible as it is predictable
from regimes based on oppression and fear.
And make no mistake: the dangers posed by Beijing and
Pyongyang are not limited to Taiwan and South Korea.
These regimes threaten the security of the entire world.
Asia is home to the majority of the world’s people, and it must
be the goal of this nation to make sure that one day all of them
live in freedom.
We need to expand our ties with democratic allies in the region.
The future of Asia must reflect what we see in Taiwan, Japan,
South Korea, and the Philippines .
The United States and our allies will not allow communism and
totalitarianism to regain their goose-stepping stride in Asia or
anywhere else .
An economically robust and militarily secure Taiwan is essential
to the security of the United States and the Pacific Rim.
And our allies must know we will not falter in our national
mission to protect democracy.
We must be clear to our friends and foes alike: the sun is rising
over the darkness of terror and tyranny, and a new day of global
freedom is dawning .
Under previous administrations, Taiwan’s president was treated
like a second-class citizen.
This Administration treats him like the world leader he is .
This president understands America’s blossoming relationship
with Taiwan – from our security commitments to the prospects
of free trade – is part and parcel of the War on Terror .
We must cultivate and exploit opportunities for economic growth
- like free trade with Taiwan – be they fiscal, monetary, or
commercial, so that we can meet the demands of the War on
We must liberate the oppressed, and export democracy because
once people enjoy their first taste of freedom, they only want
more of it, and because free and democratic nations tend not to
threaten the peace of the world.
Every time a dictatorship becomes a democracy, and a controlled
economy becomes a free market economy, the United States
gains an ally and the forces of terror gain an enemy.
That is the underlying logic of the Bush Doctrine: freedom
begets prosperity, and prosperity begets security.
Freedom, prosperity, and security are the three mighty rivers of
civilization, and the hopes of all humanity are at their confluence.
But those rivers, however powerful, are all obstructed, at
different points along the way, by terror and tyranny.
The single test of any policy pursued by any nation is whether
that policy will reinforce those obstructions or break through
A free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan
will increase Asian prosperity and security.
And if history teaches us anything about prosperity and security,
it is that freedom – in Communist China, North Korea, and
elsewhere – won’t be far behind.
Hott Spotts will return on June 19.