Letter: ​Taiwan matters to North Carolina

TO THE EDITOR:

Taiwan gained attention recently due to a controversial call from President-elect Donald Trump. Far from being a bargaining chip, Taiwan matters to both the United States and North Carolina.

Taiwan is not just the home of Boba Tea, beef noodle and General Tso’s chicken.

As the only democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, Taiwan just elected its first female president in early 2016, held the largest LGBTQ+ parade in Asia, and is legalizing same-sex marriage.

The existence and development of Taiwan are the direct evidence that democracy can thrive across cultures.

Under the current One China policy, US “acknowledges” (but not “recognizes”) China’s claim that there is one China.

The One China policy is assumed to maintain the status quo.

Unfortunately, the status quo can hardly be kept by this policy. With the rise of China in recent years, Taiwan cannot participate in or is forced to leave most of the international trade agreements or international organizations.

In 2015, North Carolina’s exports to Taiwan reached $252.7 million. Taiwan is North Carolina’s fifth largest export market in Asia and (the) 20th largest export market in the world.

It would be regretful to neglect such a faithful ally with the U.S. in fighting for freedom and self-determination at the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Austin Wang

Durham

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