To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by amoy, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/opinion/to-save-our-economy-ditch-taiwan.html

    By PAUL V. KANE
    Published: November 10, 2011


    Washington
    Related

    Times Topics: Taiwan | China
    WITH a single bold act, President Obama could correct the country’s course, help assure his re-election, and preserve our children’s future.

    He needs to redefine America’s mindset about national security away from the old defense mentality that American power derives predominantly from our military might, rather than from the strength, agility and competitiveness of our economy. He should make it clear that today American jobs and wealth matter more than military prowess.

    As Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared last year, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”

    There are dozens of initiatives President Obama could undertake to strengthen our economic security. Here is one: He should enter into closed-door negotiations with Chinese leaders to write off the $1.14 trillion of American debt currently held by China in exchange for a deal to end American military assistance and arms sales to Taiwan and terminate the current United States-Taiwan defense arrangement by 2015.

    This would be a most precious prize to the cautious men in Beijing, one they would give dearly to achieve. After all, our relationship with Taiwan, as revised in 1979, is a vestige of the cold war.

    Today, America has little strategic interest in Taiwan, which is gradually integrating with China economically by investing in and forming joint ventures with mainland Chinese firms. The island’s absorption into mainland China is inevitable.

    But the status quo is dangerous; if Taiwanese nationalist politicians decided to declare independence or if Beijing’s hawks tired of waiting for integration and moved to take Taiwan by force, America could suddenly be drawn into a multitrillion-dollar war.

    There will be “China hawks” who denounce any deal on Taiwan as American capitulation, but their fear of a Red China menacing Asia is anachronistic. Portraying the United States as a democratic Athens threatened by China’s autocratic Sparta makes for sensational imagery, but nothing could be further from reality.

    The battle today is between competing balance sheets, and it is fought in board rooms; it is not a geopolitical struggle to militarily or ideologically “dominate” the Pacific.

    In fact, China and the United States have interlocking economic interests. China’s greatest military asset is actually the United States Navy, which keeps the sea lanes safe for China’s resources and products to flow freely.

    China would want a deal on Taiwan for several reasons. First, Taiwan is Beijing’s unspoken but hard-to-hide top priority for symbolic and strategic reasons; only access to water and energy mean more to Chinese leaders.

    Second, a deal would open a clearer path for the gradual, orderly integration of Taiwan into China.

    Third, it would undermine hard-line militarists who use the Taiwan issue to stoke nationalist flames, sideline pro-Western technocrats and extract larger military budgets. And finally, it would save China the considerable sums it has been spending on a vast military buildup.

    Jeffrey Lewis, an East Asia expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, estimated that one-fourth to one-third of China’s defense spending goes to forces in the vicinity of Taiwan — at a cost of $30 billion to $50 billion a year. A deal for the resolution of Taiwan’s status could save China $500 billion in defense spending by 2020 and allow Beijing to break even by 2030, while reducing America’s debt and serving our broader economic interests.

    The Chinese leadership would be startled — for a change — if the United States were to adopt such a savvy negotiating posture. Beyond reducing our debt, a Taiwan deal could pressure Beijing to end its political and economic support for pariah states like Iran, North Korea and Syria and to exert a moderating influence over an unstable Pakistan. It would be a game changer.

    The deal would eliminate almost 10 percent of our national debt without raising taxes or cutting spending; it would redirect American foreign policy away from dated cold-war-era entanglements and toward our contemporary economic and strategic interests; and it would eliminate the risk of involvement in a costly war with China.

    Critics will call this proposal impractical, even absurd. They will say it doesn’t have a prayer of passing Congress, and doesn’t acknowledge political realities. They might be right — today.

    But by pursuing this agenda, Mr. Obama would change the calculus and political reality. And Congress should see a deal with China as an opportunity to make itself credible again.

    Debt is not in itself bad, when managed, but today’s unsustainable debt will suffocate our economy, our democracy and our children’s futures.

    By tackling the issue of Taiwan, Mr. Obama could address much of what ails him today, sending a message of bold foreign policy thinking and fiscal responsibility that would benefit every citizen and be understood by every voter.

    Paul V. Kane, a former international security fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is a Marine who served in Iraq.
    A version of this op-ed appeared in print on November 11, 2011, on page A35 of the New York edition with the headline: To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan.
     
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  3. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Taiwan will integrate peacefully with China when the CCP gets the boot. Else it has to be a bloody takeover.
     
  4. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    Meh, what you expect to happen when a severely weakened nation can no longer find a rack to hang their coat in anymore. If taiwan were to re-integrate so easily, and if it so insignificant as a nation, are the Chinese so stupid they will write off the entire US debt for something that is bound to happen? :rofl:

    Wishful thinking by some very scared people :lol:
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ditch Japan, South Korea, Philippines and other south china sea countries as well. It will increase the prestige of the US.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually, if the American can ditch their lavish lifestyle, they will do better!
     
  7. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Who said Taiwanese are going to stride into China's lap? The DPPs candidate is set to win the upcoming Presidential election in Taiwan!


    Taiwan opposition candidate vows peace with China
    Channel News Asia
    Posted: 22 November 2011

    TAIPEI: The opposition candidate in Taiwan's presidential elections tried to ease fears Tuesday that a victory for her would lead to more tensions with China, saying she would seek peace with Beijing.

    Tsai Ing-wen, who noted opinion polls showed "a real possibility" that she would defeat incumbent Ma Ying-jeou in the January 14 vote, also said she would focus more on US relations than the current China-friendly government.

    "We understand that there are some people who are worried about our victory," said Tsai, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favours independence from China.

    "I will do what we can, without compromising Taiwan's fundamental interests, to ease tensions and foster an atmosphere where dialogue and interaction is possible," she told the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei.

    China, which claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, has largely refrained from commenting openly on the election, fearing it might backfire, but it is widely believed to prefer Ma's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party.

    The KMT aims to strengthen ties with China, especially on the economic front.

    When Tsai visited the United States in September, she reportedly left doubts in the US administration that she would maintain the current stable ties with China if elected.

    "I will place great effort in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Tsai told the chamber members.

    "This is my responsibility towards the 23 million people in Taiwan and our responsibility as a member of the Asia-Pacific region."

    Until recently, Ma was leading in the polls, but the margin has shrunk and the two are tied with 39 per cent support each, according to the latest poll of 1,320 people conducted by cable news channel TVBS last week.

    The United States, Taiwan's key ally and main arms supplier despite a lack of formal diplomatic ties, has repeatedly hailed the easing of tensions across the Taiwan Strait since Ma took office in 2008.

    However, Tsai argued that the Ma administration moved much faster to develop ties with China than with the US and vowed to "restore balance in our trilateral relations."

    "I, like the majority of the Taiwanese people, cherish and value the close and stable US-Taiwan relationship we have always shared... I should strengthen and promote Taiwan and US exchanges," she said.

    2012 ELECTIONS: New TVBS poll gives DPP’s Tsai a slight lead over Ma - Taipei Times
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Their lavish lifetstyle has been the engine the drives the phenomenal growths of a lot of Asian countries. Without US consumer demands there would be no Asian industrial, technology and financial sectors to speak of. I say let the Americans continue on being lavish so that we can continue on growing our industries and then local consumer base.
     
    Yusuf likes this.
  9. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    They were , until now.. Time change. Asian countries trade more with each other than United States.
     
  10. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    They still are. That's why with declining demand from the US (and EU) China is in big trouble.
     
  11. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    WIth a growth rate of 9,2 %(forcast) next year and declining inflation rate, I will hardly call that a big trouble. There are countries with far worse state than China, mention no names, cough cough.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  12. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    By the time it's viable for any industrialist with half a brain to manufacture in the US, the average American won't be able to afford most of what America will manufacture.

    It's just like the old industrial revolution. America was a manufacturing destination for European industrialists. America got rich and attracted entrepreneurship. Then East Asia became a new manufacturing destination. China/Taiwan are rising. Soon it won't be viable to manufacture there, and people will move on to the next cheaper destinations (South/South-East Asia, and eventually Africa).

    Industrialists and capitalists don't carry any nationalistic baggage.
     

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