Polemics & Exchanges

On Chinese Division

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic’s “Getting China Straight” (The American Interest, August) is, for the most part, an intelligent and thorough analysis of the looming presence of China on the world stage.  Unfortunately, Dr. Trifkovic concludes with a suggestion—admittedly only one among many that he brings forward—that is fraught with peril.

In his final paragraph, he writes: “The task of U.S. policy in East Asia should be to consider whether, and to what extent, [Chinese] aspirations are compatible with American interests.  Contemplating the possibility of a consensual, carefully managed, and internationally condoned reunification of China with Taiwan would be a constructive first step.”

A few paragraphs earlier, he writes, “If the Communist Party of China continues to transform itself into a Red Kuomin-tang, a guided democracy will eventually emerge, . . . and economic growth will continue on a stable footing.”  Unfortunately, that is a very substantial if.  A very realistic if would involve the Communist Party exploiting and transforming China’s economic growth into military power, then forcing a reunification with Taiwan by direct military conquest or its brazen threat.  This might then tempt the Chinese to reach for greater prizes still, with...

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