•Source： Taiwan Today
Taiwan is a model liberal democracy with a free and thriving economy, according to an article in the online edition of the U.S. magazine National Review July 9.
“If Taiwan can have freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, multiparty elections, rotation in office, human rights—why not [mainland] China?” wrote Jay Nordlinger, who penned the article “Questions on Taiwan” following a recent visit to the island.
Nordlinger said that in his encounters with locals, he discovered a widely shared resentment at being excluded from international organizations.
“I ask many Taiwanese what they would have America do for them. Almost uniformly, they answer, ‘Help us get into international organizations. Decrease our isolation in the world. Allow us to develop and participate like a normal country.’”
He also notes, however, that while most people in Taiwan may desire international recognition, and some modicum of normality, they do not necessarily long for independence, preferring instead to maintain the status quo.
As for mainland Chinese tourists to the island, Nordlinger reported that by many accounts, their favorite activity is watching the local political talk shows on television, as seeing the government “criticized, examined, slammed” is alien to their experience.
An ROC official involved in relations with mainland China told Nordlinger, “We can show them three things: that democracy is possible in Chinese culture; that democratization and economic growth can go hand in hand; and that democracy need not mean chaos.”
Nordlinger wrote that despite the island’s relative international isolation, “the Taiwanese certainly have a will to live: Taipei is one of the most vibrant cities you will ever see.”
As for the opinion put forward by some U.S. analysts that Taiwan should be abandoned because Washington’s relationship with Beijing is too important to place in jeopardy, Nordlinger stated that “these are dark thoughts, but Taiwan is too booming, too boisterous, and too wonderful to allow dark thoughts for long.”
He ended the article by paraphrasing the official: “Let us do all we can to achieve harmony across the [Taiwan] Strait. Let us keep violence at bay, hang on, and keep going, until such time as the danger passes and we can get on with life.” (SB-THN)