Formosa is "more than a military, an economic or any kind of material problem," John K. Fairbank '29, Associate Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, declared in a letter to the New York Times yesterday.
Fairbank argued that Taiwan offered the main opportunity for "trying to understand the Chinese world." The help of a strong Taiwan was, Fairbank urged, necessary to "defend ourselves in the idea-logical cold war."
America needs, he said, "the cooperation of Taiwan scholars" in countering "Peiping's massive documentation" which "labels us imperialist aggressors."
Taiwan's vitality, Fairbank reasoned, depended as much on cultural freedom from Americanization as on political autonomy. He warned Washington against helping Taiwan "too much in the wrong ways."
"Intellectual Effort" Needed
Fairbank called for "a real intellectual effort in the United States" to assist in buiding "modern Chinese institutions" in the island. He expressed hope in the gradual development of an electoral process in Taiwan.
Fairbank claimed that Americans have been placing false emphasis on Taiwan's position in relation to American security and not on the ideological effect that she might have.
Charles R. Cherington '35, professor of Government, commented last night on Fairbank's letter, "Formosa is our ally and she is weak. This is primarily a military problem." He added that Red China would go on calling America names no matter what scholars in Taiwan did.
Cherington was also skeptical of Fairbank's hope that democracy might be extended in Taiwan.