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I both agree and disagree with Hisahiko Okazaki’s June 5 article, “Fighting peace for Taiwan.” He was right to point out that the vibrant working democracy in Taiwan nowadays is a determinant in shaping the island’s foreign and cross-strait policy. Yet, his argument that Taiwan should fight to win the propaganda war among the American public exaggerates the negative outcome of a rising peace across the Taiwan Strait.

The idea of ditching Taiwan to save the American economy, as cast by Paul Kane in a New York Times article, has been echoed by only a few academics, hardly reflective of mainstream opinion. In fact, to “abandon Taiwan” would hurt American interests the most.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou continues to state that U.S. arms sales are the right leverage for Taiwan as well as the source of its confidence on the negotiation table with China.

The idea of the United States abandoning Taiwan would greatly damage the foundation of mutual trust between the two sides and lead to a rapid retreat from the establishment of peace.

I cannot agree more with Okazaki that Taiwan needs to win the respect of public opinion in America, Japan and other major countries. But the unnecessary fears of growing cross-strait peace should be dispersed in the first place.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

charles i-hsin chen

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