Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bruce Jacobs: A Refreshing Academic

"If you have sacrificed my nation to preserve the peace of the world, I will be the first to applaud you. But if not, gentlemen, God help your souls." Jan Masaryk to Chamberlain and Halifax after the infamous surrender at Munich

After so many academics have slammed Taiwan independence and scolded Taiwan for rejecting international arrangements that the islanders never had a say in, Bruce Jacobs of Monash U in Australia hits one out of the park for the good guys in the CS Monitor:

The US must continue to work closely with other interested nations - such as Australia, Japan, Canada, and European countries - to give Taiwan international standing, such as observer status, or even membership, in the World Health Organization (WHO). Disease does not recognize borders and Taiwan has suffered from not having proper representation in this forum. The 2003 SARS outbreak, for example, killed many more people than necessary in Taiwan because of the slow international response. China's claim that it can represent Taiwan in WHO has repeatedly proved to be false.

Taiwan should also be integrated into a variety of international forums and activities. The island has formal diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands and gives significant aid. It would help the Solomon Islands as well as donor nations if Taiwan's aid could be integrated into the multilateral aid efforts that include the US, Australia, and Japan. Such efforts could be replicated elsewhere.

Taiwan should also be welcomed into the Australia Group, which seeks to assure that industries in the 38 member countries do not assist states that try to acquire chemical and biological weapons.

The article contains a review of the arguments for Taiwan independence. Nothing new to aficionados, but it is good to see it in a major international media organ. A refreshing view, so different from the real-men-arrange-the-fate-of-nations viewpoint that one often sees in foreign policy circles, especially US foreign policy circles. Thanks, Dr. Jacobs.

(hat tip to Peking Duck)


Anonymous said...

There is another good Bruce Jacobs article in today's TT called "Now Improve the Political System". (Dec 14) Basically about how there is no loyal opposition party (for the good of Taiwan).

Anonymous said...

Refreshing indeed! Bruce was one of my PhD supervisors.