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In its May 27 editorial “Biden’s clarity on Taiwan is risky,” the Star Tribune editorial board makes a false assumption saying there is a risk that Taipei is misinterpreting President Joe Biden’s recent statement to Japan. on Taiwan’s defense and “does not build its defensive capabilities as aggressively, or it may choose to upset the fragile status quo.”
Over the past five years, Taiwan’s defense budget has increased, with an average annual growth of 3%, and we have prepared a special budget for urgent defense procurement projects. Taiwan has consistently become the fifth-largest buyer of US arms sales in Asia, and purchases have topped more than $23 billion since 2010. This record shows that we remain firm and unwavering in our resolve to defend ourselves.
As Taiwan continues to show restraint and urge dialogue to maintain peace, it’s a grossly lopsided approach from the editorial, not to mention Beijing’s increased provocations for stability in the Taiwan Strait. and its increasingly predatory measures to unilaterally change the status quo.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 is clear on US policy toward Taiwan security. The law of the land requires US-Taiwanese cooperation to provide effective deterrence to prevent Beijing’s invasion or nullify China’s use of force to resolve disputes across the strait. It is a gross misinterpretation, if ambiguity means appeasement, which can only invite invasion.
Johnson S. Chiang, Chicago
The writer is general manager of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.
During World War II, an evil dictator wanted to change the world order, and it cost American citizens and their allies a lot of money and many lives to defeat him. It was a huge cost paid by the greatest generation, as it is called. Now another evil dictator has come forward to challenge our world order and democracy and all we are being asked to do (so far) is provide money and weapons. I realize this will be difficult for those at the bottom of our economic ladder, and I believe our government will step in to help those most affected by this sacrifice. Last week’s op-ed, “Ukraine Deserves America’s Sacrifice,” suggested that support among congressional Republicans appears to be waning, unfortunately.
This is the challenge of our generation, and I sincerely hope that we will be up to it.
Bill Cameron, Minneapolis
Minneapolis and Duluth have Russian sister cities – Novosibirsk and Petrozavodsk, respectively. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged US cities to sever those ties to protest Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine.
Russian cities may not even tell their citizens that they have been unfriended. But that seems like the least Minneapolis and Duluth can do. To the argument that the actions of the Russian government should not interfere with personal relations between residents of sister cities, I say that the invasion is surely a personal matter for Ukrainians when they are beaten or raped by soldiers Russians.
Lisa Randall, St. Paul
French President Macron’s willingness to avoid humiliating Putin (“Macron mediation angers Ukraine,” June 5) is astonishing in the face of the relentless destruction the Russian military is inflicting on Ukraine. What would France be today if the Allies had avoided “humiliating” Hitler? Putin took Crimea without Western resistance, is trying to do the same with the rest of Ukraine and could move on to Moldova and Georgia. Putin must be stopped at all costs – and with no restrictions on the arms supplied to Ukraine since that country has been left alone to stand up to the Russian army.
The Everetts, Falcon Heights
Cynthia Allen’s opinion piece in Tuesday’s Star Tribune (“Uvalde’s shot and response? See: masculinity, lack thereof”) was a painfully dishonest and error-filled rant, and I’m surprised the decision to reprint it. She equates masculinity with courage, insulting every brave woman who ever lived. She pokes fun at the notion of toxic masculinity on an event that is a poster child for it. She then proceeds to implicitly blame the shooter’s father, as his relationship with his son was “strained and distant”. I could go on but I will spare the reader. This pop psychology analysis would get an F in any college course and had no place in the pages of your grade journal.
Timothy R. Church, St. Paul
I was extremely disappointed by the Star Tribune’s choice to give a forum to Allen’s column. Allen says Uvalde police could have done their job if only it hadn’t been for decades “avoiding gender roles”. Oh yes. If only men were still men, they could have done their job. I think the problem is that men are still “men” and that’s what leads to mass shooting after mass shooting. This ridiculous old-fashioned idea of what it means to be a man (tough, strong, stoic, violent) is what poisons our young boys.
And then it pivots to the lack of fathers as the other cause of the mass shootings. There is literally no scientific data to support this point. If only there was another common thread in all these shootings. Something we could actually legislate and ban. Something almost every other country in the world except us has done. I guess we’ll have to keep thinking…
Ray Lancon, Saint-Louis Park
The article published on June 4 (“Angry young men become a constant as shootings increase”) pointed out that, frankly, we all should have been on top from the start. In other words, according to a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist, the brains of adolescents and young adults “are not fully developed in terms of regulation”. Critically, as the article notes, “the prefrontal cortex, which is essential for understanding the consequences of one’s actions and controlling one’s impulses, does not fully develop until about age 25.” We knew it! Take almost any case of vandalism, and chances are a male between the ages of 13 and 20 is the culprit. Someone went to the golf course and made donuts on the greens? Look at men between the ages of 13 and 20.
Now the pattern has emerged in school shootings, so follow the science. Do not allow people to buy long guns until they are at least 21 (preferably 25). Until then, our brain cannot take responsibility. It does not matter that people under the age of 21 can take on certain other responsibilities. They can’t stand alcohol (as my generation has conclusively proven) so the drinking age has been raised from 18 to 21. And they can’t stand long and powerful weapons. It’s not a question of rights, it’s a question of biology.
David Rosene, Brooklyn Park
I want to thank the Star Tribune for the Saturday Inspired section. Drowned in our 24/7 news cycle, most of which adhere to the old maxim, “if it bleeds, it leads” (and there’s too much blood and tragedy for them- follow), Inspired lifts us up and dries us up a bit. This week’s stories about Let’s Go Fishing, the nonprofit that brings seniors, youth, veterans and hospice patients out to the lake, were lovely, as was the advertising executive retired driving a school bus, and the story about Zimbabwe’s female rangers was extremely uplifting and might even give us ideas to help improve our own policing. I always read it last, because that’s the taste I want to leave in my mouth and mind as I go on my weekends.
Luke Soiseth, beach at Lac Sainte-Croix