Published: December 22, 2009
It seems that Abkhazia (and probably South Ossetia) is becoming the new Taiwan (“Georgian region gets 21 square kilometers of support,” news article, Dec., 17). Without drawing comparisons between the histories and raison d’être of each “state,” there are some superficial similarities that make the situation ironic. Both are recognized by only a handful of countries, usually small and by means of financial stimulus, and are protected by a military power — Russia for Abkhazia and the United States for Taiwan — without which they could not survive.
Certainly, Taiwan is regarded as a free state that is standing up to the oppressive mainland, which wants to re-annex it. Abkhazia, meanwhile, inspires a mixed bag of feelings. Some of its people see themselves as separate from Georgia and its corrupt government. However, it may never be able to fully shake off the fact that its independence came about via Russian military intervention against Tbilisi (whether justified or not).