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I'm not sure that Asians do have a preference for "indirect games". In China, 象棋 is far more popular than 圍棋; and in Japan 将棋 is far more popular than 囲碁.

Aside from that, though, it seems clear you have a low opinion of reunification with China. As you have pointed out, Taiwan's sphere of influence is shrinking. If working with mainland China is out, then what do you recommend?

Actually, for the "chess-Go" fable to be valid, Asians don't need to have an ABSOLUTE preference for indirect games; they merely need a higher RELATIVE preference for them vis-a-vis their Western counterparts.

As for your final question, I suppose that the biggest remedy for points 4,5 and 6 would be to slow down or stop Taiwanese investment in China. Put some teeth into the fines, start confiscating assets (legally, of course)...ANYTHING. Fostering economic dependence upon a nation that is trying to destroy you is suicide.

The biggest remedy for points 2&3 would be for free nations to show a little more support for Taiwan. Even if it's just moral support, like President Bush gave a few days ago. No decent Western leader should be bathing the Eiffel Tower in red lights when a communist dictator comes a-callin'.

As for Taiwanese politicians who want to unify with an authoritarian state, the Taiwanese need to defeat them at the polls. If they can't do that, then no one, but no one, can help them.

(BTW, I think it's a great pity that Taiwan no longer has a political party that advocates unification at some vague, nebulous, distant future time when China has a free press, multiparty democratic elections, and a population that isn't afraid to pray without a license.)

Finally, I'll just be honest and say that I haven't the foggiest idea how Taiwan can increase the number of diplomatic allies it has. If there was an easy way, it'd already have been done.

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