December 4th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The rise of Condoleezza Rice

EDITORIAL: Corporate power ... and the public interest

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Talent gap widens between major parties

CENSORSHIP: Nicole Kidman in controversial movie

ECONOMICS: Productivity report driven by ideology

FINANCE: Day of reckoning for Australia's debt binge?

RURAL AFFAIRS: The National Party's Telstra sale dilemma

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION PART 1: Iran backs down on uranium enrichment

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION PART 2: US doubtful about Tehran's intentions

VIET TAN: New reform party launched for Vietnam

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Uncharted territory / The Zamindars / Labor's performance / The Light on the Hill

SEX EDUCATION: Telling teens the truth - 'cool' virginity, abstinence and faithful marriage

US ELECTIONS: Christians eat lions in 2004 election

China's stand-off with Taiwan (letter)

Labor needs heart transplant (letter)

Saddam's secret weapons (letter)

BOOKS: MONASH: The outsider who won a war, by Roland Perry

THE CRISIS OF ISLAM: Holy War and Unholy Terror, by Bernard Lewis

BOOKS: Non-Alignment and Peace versus Military Alignment and War

Books promotion page

China's stand-off with Taiwan (letter)

by Osman Chia

News Weekly, December 4, 2004

I am writing in reference to Jeffry Babb's piece entitled "Cross-strait issue a delicate balance" (News Weekly, November 6).

The Taiwan Strait has been described by many observers as one of the most volatile areas in the world. A military conflict would most certainly lead to a devastating outcome for the region and is therefore not in anyone's interest.

Threatened by China, Taiwan can appreciate the anxiety of the international community over this tension. Since commencement of the administration's new term on May 20, Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian has spoken with prudence and acted with goodwill in trying to reconcile the differences with China.

In a key conciliatory statement, Chen indicated in his National Day speech on October 10 that he would be willing and eager to resume the cross-Strait talks that Taipei and Beijing agreed to during negotiations more than a decade ago.

The international community has acknowledged President Chen's speech. It is time that more followed the lead of those major nations that have urged the PRC to look more carefully at Taiwan's policies, actions and intentions, and to resume dialogue with Taiwan.

The international community should also remind China that peace and development should be the most important objectives in cross-Strait relations, especially in light of the "peaceful rise" China has proclaimed as its national endeavour.

As always, it takes two to make peace, and China should publicly proclaim that it will pursue such a peace in resolving its differences with Taiwan. Peace should colour the language used by all parties concerned, not war.

China is a great nation with a long and proud history; yet its civilisation has been glorious because it has accommodated others, not because it conquered them.

China will continue to be a great power not through intimidation and threat but through accommodating and living peacefully with Taiwan. The rewards for China achieving peace with Taiwan far outweigh those of a conflict or a stalemate.

China has wasted the four years of Chen's first term by not responding to Taiwan's repeated calls for meaningful dialogue. A growing divide between the two sides has certainly not benefited China's interests.

Osman Chia
Director, Information Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia
Barton, ACT

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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