US should ditch Taiwan: New York Times op-ed


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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Gray/591942516 John Gray

    Ok, give Taiwan a nuke, then.
    Crazy?  More crazy than letting N Korea or Iran having one?
    If thugs only deal in the concept of force, and if the price to be left alone is to keep thugs at bay, then it seems Taiwan needs some force at its hand.
    Oh, and for you chinese propagandists, what exactly is it that drives your blood pressure up about the fact that island just wants to be left alone?  What, you are running out of land?  Think Taiwan is planning an attack?  What’s so nutty about live and let live, just mind your own business, cause that’s what the Taiwan people seem to want?

  • THEIZZY

    I THINK THAT THE IDEA IS GENIUS AND YOUR SMART a.. ANIMATION NOT WITHSTANDING, THE IDEA IS THAT TAIWAN IS ALREADY INTEGRATED INTO CHINA IN MORE AND GROWING WAYS AND IF WE WAIT LONGER, THEY WILL BE PART OF CHINA WITHOUT ANYTHING TO SELL.
    THIS IS A RELIC OF THE COLD WAR WHEN CHINA WAS HOSTILE AND THREATENING. TODAY’S THREAT IS NOT MILITARY BUT ECONOMICAL. SOVIET UNION COLAPSED NOT BECAUSE IT DID NOT HAVE WEAPONS BUT BECAUSE IT WENT BROKE. CAPICHE!

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  • http://profiles.google.com/rrwillsj richard wills

    Taiwan has been way too valuable for China as a buffer state {see both Koreas & Mongolia}

    As the social & economic evolution of Central Asia develops, having the experienced COIN
    American military available to prop up the central government {in exchange for a cut of the
    resources of Central Asia} is our next big war to look forward to.

    Get a globe, look at how the American Hegemony has flanked the oceans with island
    satraps. Consider our training grounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Peking needs us for well
    into the foreseeable future. Very mutual, very pragmatic, very very long-range strategy.

  • Taiwan Steve

    Re: SOMEBODY below.  What English do you want to hear? Redneck English? White or Chinese hate-mongering English? Valley Girl English? Malay English? Afrikaan English? Bedlam, Yorkshire English? Turkish English? Russian English? Certainly wouldn’t want to hear NOBODY English!

  • Jesus Oremeo

    Clear US local reporting on the detained Kansas City ROC diplomat can be found @   http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/10/3258913/taiwanese-official-accused-in.html#storylink=misearch  The charge is  fraud in foreign labor and the under terms of the two-year contract, the woman was to be paid $1,240 each month for a 40-hour work week. She was supposed to be paid overtime for work beyond that

    Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/10/3258913/taiwanese-official-accused-in.html#storylink=misearch#ixzz1dS1NzOPd

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  • Somebody

    can you get a narrator without a strong chinese accent? 

  • anant

    The article is meant to demonstrate “Taiwan pragmatism.”  I think the point the author is trying to make is that if Taiwan gives pragmatism as an excuse, so can we (America).  He shows, he doesn’t tell.

  • Taiwan Steve

    Ditto to coldbliss below.  When will you get animated about the Taiwanese diplomat cooling her heels in a Kansas City jail for taking the away the passport of her maid from the Philippines and having her work 16-18hours @ $400/mo vs. $450 – standard practices reported in Taiwan.   http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1756549

  • rybashka

    We should sell Washington, D.C., instead.  We’ll throw in the federal bureaucrats for free.

  • Coldbliss

    Calm down, NMA.  It was just one person contributing an article on the New York Times op-ed page.  So what.  He is not speaking for the Obama administration or any other governmental entity in the US.  Many American newspapers have allowed writers to contribute crackpot ideas in the past and the NY Times is no exception here. 

    The United States is not going to abandon Taiwan to the Big-Bad Panda Monster from the Mainland. 

  • http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/ drunken_economist

    The US has a LOT of history with the Chinese in Taiwan. Who do you think makes the iPhones? Foxconn, an ROC company that deals with the mainland.

    Dump Taiwan? Get serious, Taiwan is our ally. And if the US deserts Taiwan, that’ll leave the Pacific open to CHINESE hegemony.

    • Bill_bailey

      No worse that American hegemony. Probably better for all concerned.

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  • Guest

    Do it and end US hegemony