When it comes to dealing with Communist China, one must always remember that the face the regime puts out to the rest of the world when it wants something and its true face are two very different things. Sadly, that reality is being ignored. The latest victims of this are the people of Taiwan.
To be fair, the Taiwanese aren't alone. The Communist propaganda show that is the Olympic Games has still managed to dazzle President Bush (BBC and CNN), their brutal determination to stamp out any dissonant internal chords not withstanding (Boycott 2008). Nor has the Communists' efforts to silence opposition to them in the United States (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times) moved the President to steer clear of the propaganda exercise. Of course, the Communists' Korean colony has played this game exceptionally well (CNN, National Review Online, and One Free Korea).
In the case of Taiwan, the newly elected government was hoping that reaching out to the cadres would ensure a reduction in tensions. Yet on the very day direct fights from the mainland to Taiwan began (BBC), the Communist military announced that the missile buildup against Taiwan (roughly 100 missiles added to the arsenal every year) would not be stopped (NHK, Japan).
In other words, the Communists get what they want, and the appeasers have nothing to show for their efforts.
This wouldn't surprise dissidents like the executed Lin Zhao (Washington Post). Nor would has such duplicity shocked the Dalai Lama, which may be why he can endure talks with the Communists that go nowhere (BBC and the Washington Post), because he no longer expects anything else from them.
It is a lesson that the rest of the world had best learn quickly, lest they find themselves repeatedly handing over concession after concession for promises that are worth less than the bandwith on which their delivered. It is yet another reason why American and her democratic allies will never be secure until China is free.