This is about how big China is afraid of the little island because of its democratic success.
It's Hu you know
It's more than coincidence that China is always agitated when the people of Taiwan go to the polls or otherwise demonstrate the island's commitment to popular sovereignty.
On a trip to Japan last year, Mr. Bush cited Taiwan as a model for China. "Modern Taiwan is free and democratic and prosperous," Mr. Bush observed. "By embracing freedom at all levels, Taiwan has delivered prosperity to its people and created a free and democratic society."
Prosperity they'll take. But freedom and democracy are the last things China's rulers want. In his brief rule, Mr. Hu has relentlessly cracked down on anyone who would challenge the communist oligarchy. By encouraging these aspirations (if only by example), Taiwan presents an intolerable challenge. The People's Republic views the island not as a model, but a menace, and so it arms for reunification.
And this is about the World Health Organisation's continued exclusion of Taiwan from its membership, which poses a threat to world health.
WHO's Keeping Taiwan Out
While clearly unjust, no one is going to die because Taiwan isn’t a member of the UN. Not so the island’s isolation from the international health regime, the latest chapter of which was played out in Geneva this week.
Taiwan’s advanced research facilities, location and transportation and communications networks would make it an ideal regional hub for tracking and counteracting an avian flu outbreak, if only the World Health Organization could overcome its political hang-ups, and put the emphasis where it properly belongs – on health not appeasement.