AS continuing unrest in East Asia underscores, political liberalization must accompany rising economic prosperity if there is to be genuine progress for any nation. In Taiwan, the new democratic opposition party has been forced to cancel a series of pre-election rallies following violence between soldiers and dissidents. In South Korea, meanwhile, the opposition party planned to boycott parliament until the government apologized for thwarting a recent rally.
If there has been any relative bright spot in the region the past few days it would have to be the Philippines, where that nation's government is seeking to carry out a 60-day truce between the military and communist rebels.
Each of these nations has made some progress in edging toward political liberalization. Unlike the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan have been economic successes. Yet, they are all societies dominated by ruling elites. Clearly, the popular yearning for broad-based political participation is not going to abate. The sooner the lesson is learned, the more genuine the growth there will be for all the peoples of these nations.