07 December 2009

Taiwan tears my heart and head apart

In my heart, I support Taiwanese independence. It's a small, beleaguered country, a democracy no less, constantly under threat of bullying by a larger neighbor. It's also a long-standing American ally, which counts for a lot as well.

At the same time, I don't want war with China. Ever. Two thermonuclear powers duking it out is a recipe for world-wide disaster. That China is willing to consider such war absolutely necessary to reunify with an island that's been independent for over 50 years is a chilling thought, especially for someone who is (overall) optimistic about China's place in the world.

Therefore, I'm rather torn when it comes to Taiwanese elections. The recent electoral successes of the DPP, which explicitly advocates for moving away from China and eventual independence. Just like my heart hoped for Annette Lu's victory in 2008 in the DPP primary for president. My head, of course, recoils. The last thing the US needs is another A-bian in power (and Lu would have been far worse!) pointlessly needling Beijing.

Also weighing on my love of Taiwanese independence is that the best Taiwanese musical artists today have been controversial because they, like most of the youth, support independence. Unfortunately, I can't embed this video by A-mei (but is a must for all pop fans) but for you metalheads (like me!), here is CthoniC, who is not only awesome Taiwanese metal but even aboriginal Taiwanese metal.


  1. I am all about that "Fa Shao" video. You're right, this is something of a dilemma, but I think that if our current administration had to pick a side they already have...

  2. It's always hard to say, with any administration. Bush actually once said that we would defend Taiwan from a mainland attack (in a very explicit way the government tries to avoid, and his administration walked it back a bit). After that, though, he went and supported China all through the "Referendum Crisis" of '04.


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