Can China really be a responsible stakeholder? – Liu Kuan-teh

Editorial from the Taipei Times (link):

Chinese President Hu Jintao (ËÉ°Èå¶Êø§) is scheduled to meet US President George W. Bush in the White House today. While most analyses have said the discussion would focus on trade disputes and issues related to the Korean Peninsula and Iran, more attention should be focused on the extent to which the Bush administration can transform China into a “responsible stakeholder.”

International observers argue that the danger of conflict increases particularly when the challenger is an undemocratic state. Democracies are generally satisfied powers, unlikely to challenge the status quo. An undemocratic challenger, however, is more threatening to the world order, and hence more likely to induce a more belligerent response from a democratic leader and its allies.

The biggest irony lies in China’s unwillingness to renounce the use of force against Taiwan. Hu has not indicated that he is ready to begin talks with Taiwan’s elected leader — President Chen Shui-bian (Èô≥Ê∞¥ÊâÅ). Regarding Taiwan, the Chinese leadership has offered nothing new, instead demanding its unilateral acceptance of the “one China” principle as a condition for resuming cross-strait talks.

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