At the Shangri-La Dialogue last weekend, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe fiercely defended mainland China’s position that Taiwan represents an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.

The People’s Liberation Army, he said, would do whatever it takes to unify with Taiwan and to resist any forces (read: the U.S. and its allies) that would try to promote Taiwan’s secession from the mainland.

This position is firmly wedded to Beijing’s interpretation of the so-called "One China" policy that was laid out in the 1972 Shanghai Communique. It is inflexible, dogmatic and dated. It does not reflect the critical role Taiwan plays as a global public good.