The China Post news staff
Taiwan seems to have been inundated recently with a series of acronyms and digits. First, there was the M503 flight route that China tried to launch unilaterally in January and that threatened to push civilian air traffic dangerously close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Then came the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and the debate over Taiwan’s membership in a Beijing-led investment organization, albeit one with a strong international pull, and the U.S. attitude toward such a move and whether it would factor into a TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) decision. On April 1, a pair of U.S. Marine Corps F-18 fighter jets made an emergency landing in Tainan, citing engine trouble during a routine mission. Political pundits, military analysts and netizens alike all took a stab at deciphering the possible ��political message�� the United States was sending, and the possible recipient of said message. According to a Washington Times report on Wednesday, military analyst Rick Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center argued that the landings, while unintended, ��(do) give China a significant signal of U.S. resolve�� in the region, considering the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s recent test flights of its H-6K bombers in the Western Pacific. Legislators in Taiwan let their imaginations run wild yesterday. Despite repeated statements from Foreign Minister David Lin that the F-18s landed because of technical problems, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (����) said, ��in a sensitive time like this, the matter is irregular.�� He said that the U.S. wanted to reassert its stature in the region following recent developments. Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang (�L����) scoffed at Tsai’s speculation, but added that the incident with the F-18s showed that the U.S. still saw Taiwan as a trusted ally in the region, which he described as ��heartwarming.��
Can we trust coincidences, even if we are seemingly surrounded by them?