Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On the Principles of Taiwan's National Security

Taiwan’s first-ever national security report was issued by the President Office on May 20, 2006. This report covers a wide range of issues; it not only discusses the threats to Taiwan’s security, but also develops strategies to counter these threats. Moreover, the analyses proposed in the report indeed focus on the common good of the people in Taiwan. This report can be viewed as a good start for Taiwan’s government and its people to pay more attention to national security.

The issues centered on national security involve many complicated policies; therefore, there should be guidelines to negotiate the conflicts between a country’s various goals and strategies. These guidelines need to reflect the majority opinion in Taiwan, however. If the guidelines cannot be in harmony with the majority opinion, our national leaders must have a consistent will to search for a common ground among diverse opinions. It is a pity that Taiwan’s first NSR does not point out its fundamental guidelines in a clear and precise manner. Hence, I would like to propose several essential principles that can also be seen as my suggestions for future discussions on Taiwan’s national security. These principles are as follows:

1. All the people who live on the main island of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu must protect Taiwan and consider Taiwan our common asset. This asset has to be well-maintained by all the people in Taiwan.

2. The stances on unification and independence are equally important for Taiwan. These two streams should have mutual respect and trust each other. Moreover, it is crucial to allow Taiwan’s people to keep their freedom of choice.

3. Taiwan should be recognized as a model of freedom and democracy in Asia. We should never see ourselves as abandoned orphans in the international community and thus lose our faith. All the people of Taiwan must have confidence in Taiwan, and both pro-independence and pro-unification camps should develop this consensus together.

4. Taiwan should become a “firewall,” not a “flash point,” between major powers. For example, as a neutral state, Switzerland has been playing a constructive role in settling and preventing international conflicts.

5. On the economic front, Taiwan should aspire to become a center of knowledge innovation. However, many people in Taiwan have an illusion, emphasizing that Taiwan should be the center of “imagined sphere of influence.” Honestly speaking, this type of arrogant thinking will only push Taiwan’s economy towards a difficult direction.

6. We need to focus on the people of Taiwan. The most important strategy is to focus on doing the best to improve the living condition of our country. The true meaning of “Taiwan identity” is that mothers who live in Taiwan will see the country as a good and safe place for raising their children. In other words, if most parents in Taiwan do not want their children to grow up here, then it would be ironic for us to talk about the issues regarding Taiwan’s national security and identity. Therefore, to improve our living conditions and quality of life should be the consensus of all the Taiwanese.

7. Taiwan must strive to build a co-prosperous community where multiple cultures and ethnic groups can co-exist harmoniously, instead of being a “colony” of any dominant ethnic group that considers itself superior to others.

1 comment:

Pitcher said...

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