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Taiwan could prompt China to be more open: U.S. scholar

2012/06/16 20:14:50

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Taiwan's experience with democracy could play a crucial role in stimulating China to be more open, a U.S. scholar said Saturday.

Ezra F. Vogel, a professor emeritus at Harvard University and author of "Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China," made the remarks at a forum at the Buddha Memorial Hall in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

Vogel said former ROC President Chiang Ching-kuo and former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping were rivals during their terms and that when Time magazine named Deng as 1985 Man of the Year, it prompted Chiang to quicken the pace of Taiwan's democratization.

He said that rivalry between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has benefits and that "the present democratic experience of Taiwan will definitely stimulate China's politics to be more open."

He said Deng changed China and that it is undeniable China has developedinto an economic giant and will become a world power.

The United States has the edge in terms of technology and innovation, and its exchanges with China will become even closer, he went on.

Taiwan, hemmed in between the United States and China, could play a major role, according to Vogel.

Taiwan "could help China's economic development and provide direction for China's democratic development," Vogel said.

Su Chi, a former secretary-general of the National Security Council, said that Deng was good at international strategic deployment.

He said Deng put aside disputes with the United States over Washington's arms sale to Taiwan, as well as overseeing improved relations with Japan and the U.S.

Su said that a national leader needs the ability to think in a broad perspective and not become bogged down by trivialities.

Kao Hsi-chun, chairman of the Global Views Educational Foundation, said Taiwan has made progress in its democratic development and describedits society as dynamic.

But he also said Taiwan's people are selfish, and pointed out the uneven distribution of wealth and the country's brain drain, as well as rivalry in the workplace, adding that Taiwanese society needs spiritual reform.

(By Hsia Nien-tze and Lilian Wu)