Annie Wang at PostGlobal

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. Her English debut, Lili - A Novel of Tiananmen, (June 2001 Pantheon Books) published internationally to critical acclaims. A multi-layered novel, Lili, is a story of a "bad girl's" maturation and adventure in the Post-Mao Era leading up the Tiananmen Student Movement in 1989. Her most recent English novel, The People’s Republic of Desire (Harper Collins 2006) is a hilarious satire and an insightful portrait of China’s MTV generation, urban women, and cross-cultural relationships. It has been hailed as a cross between Sex and the City and Joy Luck Club. A child prodigy in her native China, Annie Wang studied mass communications at UC Berkeley and won the Berkeley Poetry Contest in 1996 with two poems, "Speaking to Mao Tse-tung, Tongue-in-cheek" and "A Woman from a Mountain Area". She has worked for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, and then served in the Washington Post's Beijing bureau and the US State Department. In 2004, she returned to China and ran a fashion magazine in Shanghai. Currently, she lives with her husband and son and divides time between the U.S. and China. Close.

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. more »

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Playing Hardball in the Cloak of Democracy

Don't get me wrong. I'm very much of a Western pro-democracy type of mentality. But I really think Taiwan's president is using his version of "democracy" to create chaos and to agitate the mainland.

Are Taiwan's people better off under the current leadership? I have many Taiwanese friends who complain to me that life isn’t as good as it used to be. They say that Taiwan has become an "M society" -- the rich are richer and the poor poorer, with hardly anyone in between. At the same time, both my Hong Kong and mainland Chinese friends in general think their life is better off than before.

When looking at the Taiwan issue, we can't simply say that Taiwan is a democracy and China is totalitarian, so Taiwan should have the freedom to decide its independence. Apart from politics, emotional ties, economic ties, nationalism and a sense of pride and unity all play very major roles in this sensitive issue.

Taiwan has its own independence without the public voting on it. Taiwan’s leader wants to hold a democratic vote on whether to declare independence from China not because he believes that Taiwan’s people should decide their own fate; this move is not for the sake of the Taiwanese people at all. Despite the cloak of referendum and democracy, the purpose of such action is to provoke the mainland and play hardball with mainland China's leaders.

I believe that the best way for Taiwan's leaders to protect Taiwan’s democracy is to avoid direct confrontation and possible war, especially when mainland China is engaged in its own slow process of democratization.

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