The big news is that Sao Tome switched from the ROC to the PRC today. Reuters reports. This is another symbolic act with no concrete costs, which will generate media hysteria but probably benefits Taiwan. China cannot knock out too many allies, because it needs the ROC to exist and support its territorial claims, as well as maintain that Taiwan is part of China and someday deliver Taiwan to China. One of the props of the ROC are its "diplomatic allies", countries which recognize it, and not the PRC, as China. Gaining allies is always paid for by the sweat of Taiwanese taxpayers, just one of the many colonial taxes Taiwanese continue to pay to the ROC. The Taiwan government said, quite rightly:
In its diplomatic relations the ROC has consistently maintained the principles of integrity and mutual benefit, contributing to its allies’ development to the full extent of its abilities. The government of São Tomé and Príncipe, however, with excessive financial difficulties, and demands beyond those the ROC could meet, has ignored 20 years of friendly diplomatic relations, playing both sides of the Taiwan Strait while holding out for the highest bidder. The ROC regrets the São Tomé and Príncipe government’s abrupt and unfriendly decision, and condemns this action.
The media will have plenty to write about. Thanks, China, for keep Taiwan in the media churn so we can get more people to read about it and recognize its existence.
...but the big thing for me is this piece from Keith Richburg, who has been reporting out here for years, going against the mainstream "ZOMG CHINA MIGHT..." policies that have governed US relations with China...
Loath as I am to agree with Trump about almost anything, on this one, he may have a point. Since the start of the U.S.-China detente with President Richard Nixon's groundbreaking visit in 1972, America has been content to allow Beijing to set the parameters, even the lexicon, of the relationship, with the U.S. often getting little or nothing in return. It may be time to start treating China like any other country -- and that may mean talking tough when needed, and ignoring the fabled thin-skinned sensibilities of Beijing's Communist rulers.Whoa. Happy to see this from a longtime mainstream media reporter. Years late, but nice to see all the same.
- Sadly, in this Diplomat article on immigration reform in Taiwan there are a couple of errors, heart in right place though. Has this person lived in Taiwan for any length of time?
- Taiwanese American to govern California in 2018? It could happen.
- Dan Blumenthal: Beijing is fraying the one China framework
- R Hsiao in the National Interest -- Taiwan no longer a bipartisan issue?
- Leisure farming shaping up to be a boom business
- What Taiwan hopes Trump will do for it.
- Will Trump ramp up tensions with China?
- Taiwan: Asia's orphan? from Steve Goldstein, Taiwan expert, at NBR. Awesome.
- Jeff Kingston's excellent piece on Protest in Asian Democracies cites the amazing Ian Rowen
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