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Courtesy Reuters

TAIPEI IS NOT HELSINKI

Vance Chang

In "Not So Dire Straits" (January/February 2010), Bruce Gilley seeks to explain the dynamics underlying current relations among the Republic of China (Taiwan), the People's Republic of China (PRC), and the United States. Yet his use of post-World War II Finland as a model for understanding recent developments in cross-strait relations, although superficially intriguing, does not hold up under detailed examination. And his attempt to portray the diplomatic strategy of Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan's president, as an effort to advance the "Finlandization" of Taiwan is both inaccurate and unjustified.

Gilley acknowledges some of the key building blocks that have helped the American people and the people of Taiwan forge a common set of values and interests: shared objectives during World War II, enduring strategic interests embodied in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, and a mutual commitment to democratic and economic freedom, to name a few. But

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