Brooklyn

At Witt’s End: Yuh-Line Niou’s Taiwan/Israel Conundrum

Stephen Witt

When PoliticsNY’s Ethan Stark-Miller this week requested the six main candidates for New York’s Congressional District 10 race about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial journey to Taiwan and their views on the China/Taiwan battle general, 5 of the six articulated their views.

The sixth candidate, Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, by a spokesperson declined to remark as a consequence of a packed schedule. This sort of threw me as a result of Niou is a Taiwanese-American. It strikes me that she may have a powerful view on the problem.

And the question could be very present and legit. Weighing in on overseas coverage – together with being requested to vote on declarations of warfare – is within the Congressional wheelhouse. 

But in some methods, I perceive Niou’s reluctance to answer the question. She is the one lone Asian candidate within the race – Taiwanese-American at that – and with the rise of Asian hate crimes maybe the problem cuts too near the bone.

This identical factor usually occurs to me as an American-Jewish journalist relating to points surrounding Israel. I’m fairly delicate about it. While I really feel for the Palestinian individuals and would like to see an answer to the Israeli/Palestinian battle, on the finish of the day, I’m crew Israel all the way in which. It’s hard-wired into me. 

So on this, I discovered it stunning that Niou is simply too busy to specific a view on the China/Taiwan battle, however has discovered the time to assist the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion in opposition to Israel. It seems at finest to be a double-standard and at worst negligence for somebody operating for congress to weigh in on one avenue of overseas coverage and never the opposite, 

Perhaps each are purely political selections. Supporting BDS actually garnered Niou assist from the far left and fringe left anti-Zionist Jewish crowd. Maybe there’s something I don’t know concerning the interior workings of the Chinese versus Taiwanese a part of her Asian constituency the place she didn’t wish to contact the topic.

But I might argue at the same time as a pro-Israel American Jew, that the United States’ aggressive and sometimes fraught relationship with China – together with the financial engine that makes up the Pacific rim – is as strategically vital and maybe extra so than our Middle East coverage and notably the Israeli/Palestinian battle.

Now, I’m not about to make any allegations as to Niou’s character. I have no idea her personally and one can by no means know what is admittedly inside one other particular person’s coronary heart. 

But as a political journalist, I’d wish to know why Niou, as a possible congress member, has such sturdy opinions about Israel, however doesn’t have time in her busy schedule to weigh in on the crucially vital China/Taiwan difficulty. 

Voters deserve this answer.

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