Readers write about US-Taiwan relations, Taiwan and Tibet, fire and farming, and algae in Vermont streams.
The US should host new Taiwan president
In response to the April 14 article, "China's 'silent treatment' of Taiwan closer to ending": While China seizes fresh opportunities to reengage with Taiwan – offered by the March 22 presidential electoral victory of Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou and the defeat of the controversial referendum on joining the United Nations – the United States has curiously stayed out.
President Bush's prompt congratulatory message commended the "strength and vitality of Taiwan's democracy" and praised Taiwan as a "beacon of democracy to Asia and the world." But when President-elect Ma sent an important diplomatic signal by expressing his hope to visit the US before his inauguration, the US government rebuffed his request, treating him as persona non grata and telling him to improve relations with China first. No wonder the gaps between America's words and deeds confuse both its friends and foes.
Why China treats regions differently
Regarding your April 17 editorial, "China melts on Taiwan, not Tibet?": Economically, Taiwan is a prosperous economic power with strong influence on the whole Chinese economy. It also has the means to buy advanced weapons. Tibetans have no such power.
Yet, the Tibetans in exile want an arrangement that is not very different from what Taiwan enjoys. How can that objective possibly be in harmony with the factors of power in the world?
The West is under an illusion that Western protests can make Beijing concede on the most fundamental question of sovereignty. These protests can only stimulate Beijing to encourage more Han people to move to Tibet and make the Tibetans a minority there.