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    Pennsylvania Letter to the Editor

Philadelphia Inquirer

March 23, 2001
 

Letter to the Editor: 

        I agree with Trudy Rubin that the Bush foreign policy teams need to
better coordinate their policy positions and avoid discordant voices.  The
key is to develop a common world strategic view through in-depth discussions
at the highest level.  This means defining concrete strategic goals.  In
Asia, for example, U.S. soldiers have fought in World War II, Korea and
Vietnam to protect our economic and security interests.  A legitimate goal
may be to prevent a potentially unfriendly power from attaining hegemony of
the region.
        U.S. One China policy does not preclude Taiwan independence.  Any status
of Taiwan is acceptable to us so long as it is arrived at through peaceful
means and it has the consent of the 23 million people on Taiwan.  The Taiwan
Relations Act says it is U.S. objective to preserve and enhance the human
rights of the Taiwanese.  So how can we deny the free Taiwanese people their
right to self-determination?
        A recent Senate report says that military balance in the Taiwan Strait
has clearly shifted in favor of China due to its acquisition of advanced
weapons from Russia and deployment of over 300 missiles targeted on Taiwan.  
The number of missiles will reach 1,000 by 2005.  We need to sell Taiwan
adequate defensive weapons and work closely with Taiwan's military in defense
planning and training, in order to deter Chinese aggression.
Rubin's suggestion that decision on the sale of the Aegis destroyers to
Taiwan be deferred, in return for China's reduction of the number of missiles
and resumption of talks with Taiwan (without the precondition that Taiwan
first surrenders its sovereignty) is a reasonable compromise, provided
construction of the destroyers commences right away.  A stable and peaceful
East Asia is in our interest.  To maintain the status quo, however, requires
unflinching resolve as well as deft diplomacy.

Jay Loo
Lansdale, Pennsylvania


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