Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Three No's Policy

Continuing the theme of nuclear non-proliferation, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is the latest head of state forced to deny recent reports that his country is seeking to develop nuclear weapons:

Some legislators tend to exaggerate and tell untruths. It is deeply regrettable. So I think it is necessary again on behalf of the government of Taiwan and the people of Taiwan that I have to reassure you all and also pledge that Taiwan will definitely not develop nuclear weapons, we will definitely not bring in nuclear weapons, and we will definitely not use nuclear weapons. In other words, we have a three no’s policy when it comes to nuclear weapons. We will stand by this policy.

This reminds me of the old adage about some accusations doing their damage regardless of whether they are true or not. ("Do you still beat your wife?" was the example I grew up with, although it seems a bit out of date nowadays.) I get the feeling we're entering an era when states will be forced to take active measures to demonstrate their nuclear good behaviour, as opposed to enjoying the benefit of the doubt.

Even more in the case of Taiwan, which harbored nuclear ambitions until they were brought to light and abandoned in the 1980's. According to the article, they still hope to develop a stockpile of cruise missiles capable of striking Shanghai, although the budget for the program has been frozen until 2009 in the face of opposition from Peking and Washington.

Question. Is the idea that certain Bush administration hawks would welcome a nuclear Taiwan evidence of Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Posted by Judah in:  Odds & Ends   

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