The Corner


Trading Places (A Wish)

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Eurasia / Robert Harding / Getty Images)

In the current issue of National Review, Theodore Kupfer has an article about Taiwan. I commend it (among other articles). When you write about Taiwan, you inevitably write about the PRC. Something that Teddy says in his piece reminds me of something else.

Teddy points out that Taiwan is economically dependent on the mainland, and “this entanglement complicates the struggle for independence. Other ‘settler nations,’ such as Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Australia, were able to secure nationhood as they became independent from their faraway imperial rulers. Taiwan, on the other hand, depends on China for prosperity — and is a mere stone’s throw away.”

Several years ago, I spoke with Chen-Shen Yen, a Taiwanese political scientist. He said that Taiwan was something like Georgia (the ex–Soviet republic): close to its adversary and far from its help. He also joked that Taiwan should trade places with Cuba. Taiwan would then be cozy to the United States and thousands of miles from the PRC. Moreover, “we have similar weather and we both love baseball.”

A nice idea . . .

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