The suspicion grows that when the Panama Canal treaty is ratified by the Senate the administration will move to secure "a full and normal relationship" with China, to use the words of Leonard Woodcock, our envoy to that large, red, opaque country. The men who run Peking have explained that the price for these normal relations will be handing Taiwan over to them.
"The danger is that this will be turned into a liberal conservative debate in which the animosities of debate in which American politics will be projected on a foreign policy question in a grotesque and unresonable fashion. Woodcock, the former head of the United Automobile Workers Union, is a charter member liberal, as is Alan Cranston, the Democratic California senator who has declared himself in favor of handling the Farmason Chinese over to the Reds. Sen. Gold-water (Ri-Ariz) and his group oppose the idea, so we're off to the races.
But wait. Neither American liberals nor American Conservatives can have much symphaty for the political strutures of either mainland China or island China. In our terms they are both desoptisms that, in terms of human rights, leave nothing to choose from. Big China is a Communist despotism that does, but surely this is not a moral distinction.
In this era of unchecked and thoughless revivalism, fancy reasons of right and wrongness are supposed to be advanced for advocating this, that or any course of action. In this case, though , the morally nuetral cause of reason would be advanced if we dropped the quasireligious blather and asked what's in it for us.
When it comes ot fuller relations with Red China, the answer is not much.
A closer relationship with the Chinese might scare the Russians, but is that a good idea? The Carter administration is already kicking up American'swar budget by a horrendous amount. Shouldn't that scare the Russians sufficiently? It is hardly in our interest to so frighten them, make them feel so surrounded and hounded that they panic into doing something the whole planet will regret.
On the other hand, undemocratic as she is, Taiwan is a fait accompli - and not just any fait accomli, but ours. We did it. There would be no Taiwan today if it were not for American aid, American guns and the active protection of the American fleet.
What sane American would advocate abandoning Israel? That's another country that would not exist wiht out the billions in war material given it by the United States. In an economic sense there is much more to be gained by dumping Isreal than Taiwan, which now plays an important part in our own and the Japanese trade patterns in the western Pacific.
Nevertheless, it's not in our interest to cut off aid to the Israelis and let her enemies devour her. We would accomplish nothing but convince our other allies that we are took fickle to be trusted. Smaller nations in a precarious position would of necessity have to start sliding over to reach some kind of understanding with the major Communist powers.
If the liberals want to push for something sensible in foreign relations, let them advocate the morality of abandoning the boycott of Cuba. As for Red China, offer her friendship but not Taiwan.