Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

James K. Glassman reviews a new report on US-Asian relations. This is the key:

Roy added that, while anti-Americanism exists in Asia, the animosity is "qualitatively different" from anti-Americanism in Europe, which is "more visceral."

I think we should look to re-orient our policy towards Asia in the coming years. Europe's anti-Americanism, with its vicious elitism and near-racism combined with naivete and barely cloaked ambition, is too irrational to be straightforwardly dealt with. Economic stagnation is likely to make it worse. Reason has a much better chance in Asia. I agree with this too:

Any U.S. effort to promote the containment of China would be at best premature, and at worst, highly counterproductive. No important Asian country would join such an effort, and the U.S. would forfeit China’s help in managing vital challenges in the region and elsewhere. A more attractive alternative would involve continuing to cultivate all the key powers in Asia while seeking to use those relationships to resolve outstanding disputes and consolidate a generally favorable political and territorial status quo. This would require the maintenance of U.S. alliances and substantial forward-based military forces in the region, and more in-depth strategic discussions with China, official and non-official.

Except for one thing: Taiwan should get its independence. To let an authoritarian state gobble up its democratic neighbor would be too deep a betrayal of America's basic reason to play a role in the world at all. I'm not saying we should force this. I'd suggest "Socratic diplomacy": ask the world to articulate what principles, other than the pure cynicism of might-makes-right, could possibly justify a Chinese takeover of Taiwan. And I don't think America should pay lip service to the "one China" principle: such insidious doublespeak has no place in the land of the free.

My take on the rise of China.


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