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Aug 14, 2007

Taiwan's "red line" & "two countries, one system"

Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) said yesterday that if China really does push a resolution in the UN that solidifies a "One China policy" in which Taiwan is part of China, Taiwan could not idly sit by and let China set the framework and rules of the game. Huang said such a resolution would cross Taiwan's "red line" and that Beijing would "pay an extremely hefty price."

Setting various red lines is always a problem. It makes it easy for things to spiral out of control. I don't like where this is going.

Notice how flexible Beijing has had to be with their red line -- actions by Taiwan that were unimaginable 8 years ago and would have been thought to spark a war had little consequence. They've also refused to set the current UN referendum plans as a red line. It limits your options.

Meanwhile, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said while he was in Singapore that the cross strait situation should be "two countries, one system" -- a democratic system -- and not "one country, two systems." He also said the main threat to Asian Pacific security is the China military build up currently aimed at Taiwan. Fairly meaningless formulation, but China won't be thrilled and will probably be relatively inclined to ignore it for fear of the pro-democracy in China line.

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