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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)



Taiwan: In Crisis, a Country Must Unite


Liberty Times (liberal), Taipei, Sept. 14, 2001.

What does a country need most when it encounters a crisis? Undoubtedly, the answer is that the country must unite. The reaction of the American people in the past few days after the terrorist attack is an example of how a country ought to act in a time of crisis.

The terrorist attack on the mainland of the United States was a disaster that most Americans never expected. Many American people are dissatisfied with the quality of intelligence work. They also feel threatened by the possibilility of more terrorist attacks. But, as everybody has seen, the American people did not severely criticize the government or call on certain officials to resign. On the contrary, they have become united in a short period of time and formed the backbone that the government relies on to handle this national crisis.

After New York City and Washington, D.C., were attacked by terrorists, all civilized countries condemned their actions. These countries also expressed their willingness to cooperate with one another to attack international terrorist activities. But some people in the opposition party in Taiwan and some who are pro-China take advantage of the incident, saying that, because the United States was attacked by terrorists, Taiwan cannot depend on it. They say that Taiwan could become a casualty in the event of a conflict between the United States and China and that Taiwan should adjust its strategy so that it does not become too close to the United States. Some people have also ludicrously deduced that Taiwan ought to return to the one-China policy. When Vice President Annette Lu called on the country to beef up its defenses, a certain media outlet called her a terrorist. When the foreign minister said that our country stands on the side of the United States, another media outlet ridiculed him, saying that he was worried that Taiwan would be abandoned by the United States.

Vice President Lu called on Taiwan to rekindle its patriotism, to strengthen its sense of who the enemy is, and to develop a sense of crisis regarding the future. In the wake of the terrorist attack on the United States, we, especially the media, ought to consider the question of how to defend our country. We can learn from the American people, who become even more united after disaster strikes.




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