SINGAPORE — U.S. President George W. Bush got it just about right last week when he publicly criticized Taiwan’s leader during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Washington. Accusations from “friends of Taiwan’s democracy” notwithstanding, Bush was not kowtowing to China; he was merely expressing U.S. policy in clear and plain language. My only complaint about Bush’s comments is that they may have been too little, too late.

Here’s what Bush said: “We oppose any unilateral decision, by either China or Taiwan, to change the status quo.” In other words, Beijing is not to use force, and Taiwan is not to declare independence. Nothing new here; this is long-standing U.S. policy.

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