December 26th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: A reflection on Christmas

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The new Opposition team

ENVIRONMENT: Copenhagen summit ignores 'Climategate' scandal

FINANCIAL CRISIS: Can the world expect a sustainable recovery?

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The challenge of China

HUMAN RIGHTS: Commonwealth's double standards over Sri Lanka, Fiji

CULTURE: The sexualisation of girlhood

IDEOLOGIES: Radical environmentalism: the new socialism

CIVILISATION: What now after the cultural revolution?

MEDIA: Why America's newspapers are dying

IDEAS: Why haven't more people heard of G.K. Chesterton?

OPINION: Paid maternity leave and the war against women

A new name for News Weekly? (letter)

Why the democracies should support Taiwan (letter)

BOOK REVIEW: BLOODY VICTORY: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the making of the Twentieth Century, by William Philpott

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Why the democracies should support Taiwan (letter)

by Dong Li

News Weekly, December 26, 2009

I like Ian H. McDougall's article (News Weekly, November 14). It is informative and sympathetic to Taiwan.

Taiwan sorely needs and rightfully deserves as much sympathy, respect and support as possible from democratic countries and all those who value democracy.

The 23 million people in Taiwan enjoy a vibrant democratic political system, an independent judiciary, the best free media in Asia, and the living standard of a developed country (income per head: US$33,000). And it is worth noting that ever since its economic take-off, income has been much more equitably distributed in Taiwan than on the "socialist" mainland. However, Taiwan is a non-person in the international community.

At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime, which is unelected, violates universal human rights every day, and is propped up by violence and lies, nonetheless has a seat on the United Nations Security Council, with the right to exercise the power of veto.

Leaders of the free world vie with each other to pay homage to this dictatorship. The policy of Realpolitik, as practised by people like Dr Henry Kissinger, is carried to the extreme, revealing itself as a euphemism for the betrayal of democratic principles and capitulation to autocrats.

In my presentation at a 2008 symposium in New Zealand, I suggested Taiwan should be supported by democrats the world over in its struggle to stave off a communist take-over, but one very senior participant accused me of "provocative adventurism". Alas!

I think it is a correct strategy for the Taiwanese authorities to apply for membership of the United Nations Organisation's less political, low-profile organs first.

Dong Li (retired professor),
New Zealand.

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