Far Eastern Economic Review
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Who owns Taiwan?

Issue cover-dated July 19, 2001

I cannot help laughing over Oliver Y. Zuo's unique and yet uncivilized weltanschauung [China's Decision, Letters, Jun. 21]. Zuo claims Taiwan to be a property stolen from Chinese ancestors, whose return is not for the 22 million Taiwanese who live there to decide, but the decision of 1.2 billion Chinese whose greed and intimidation explain everything.

I lament for the downfall of a Chinese civilization that used to be accommodating and tolerant. A modern Chinese like Zuo has already lost touch of this civilization. In Zuo's eyes, Taiwan doesn't belong to the Taiwanese because the Chinese once had it. Furthermore, the way of life chosen by the Taiwanese can be easily overruled by the mainland because they constitute the largest population in the world.

This is why the Chinese ride roughshod over millions of Tibetans. Would Zuo would like to see millions of Taiwanese, Mongolians or Russians in the Far Eastern provinces join the queue? Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese. Tibet belongs to the Tibetans. Mongolia belongs to the Mongolians. And China, of course, belongs to the Chinese. But don't pretend you are the rightful heir of other countries. It's not only uncivilized, it's dangerous.