William Kirbywas an English entomologist, an original member of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society, as well as a country priest, making him an eminent parson-naturalist. He is considered the "founder of entomology"...
A war in the Taiwan Strait would destroy China's international relations overnight. It would destroy Chinese - Japanese relations, not to mention Chinese - American relations.
You could argue that war is always an irrational act, and yet many states enter into military conflict out of rational calculation or national interest or the stability or longevity of their regime.
East Asia has prospered since the end of the Vietnam War, and Northeast Asia has prospered since the end of the Korean War in a way that seems unimaginable when you think of the history of the first half of the century.
So, anything that avoids a conflict that could draw in, unhappily again, outside powers such as the United States or revisit, for example, Japan's interests in the Taiwan area would be the last thing that anyone would want.
Harvard is first and foremost a university and not a consulting operation, and our job here is to teach and to research and to create knowledge on Asia in conjunction and in cooperation with scholars as well as with political, intellectual, and cultural leaders in Asia.
The Chinese government since 1979 has been very successful in economic development, and successful enough, simply by surviving, in the realm of political development.
The greater concerns in China and Taiwan are on the political side, not on the economic side.
The reform of state industry, and most directly related to that, the banking sector, is enormously daunting.
Now, I believe that war is never inevitable until it starts, but there has been a great proclivity in human history, and including in recent history, for war.
And look at the mess that Russia is; most Chinese don't want to follow that.
I don't believe that economic and cultural interaction automatically brings greater peace and understanding, although it may help in that regard.
So, I think China desperately needs to legitimize some form of opposition.
There is no question that Taiwan is a state in any political science definition of a state.
The PRC is the big brother in this relationship, and it has the capacity to be generous to Taiwan on this issue in a manner that might do much to defuse that issue internally in Taiwan.
Another goal is to look to the resources we have and to see how we could do better to plan, in a sense, for the faculty and infrastructure that we will need to study Asia well into the 21st century.
I would hope we would begin a series of projects that would do more to bring the different parts of the university together in the study of Asia, for example, in the study of the professions in Asia.
The most important thing that certainly the United States and other Asian and Pacific actors have done is to urge that whatever happens, however the dispute is resolved, that it be resolved peacefully.
One of the problems, as you know, is that the Chinese language is not as nuanced as others for dealing with the difference between state and country.
But our main agenda is really to try to integrate the study of Asia here at Harvard and to play as positive a role as we can in this institution.