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Saturday, May 27, 2006 | 10:40 PM

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Mexico and Taiwan on the surface may seem to be distant, unrelated places. But they both have in common one defining characteristic: they both demonstrate how internationalism can sometimes be more important than national law.

Taiwan is an island off of China that is politically independent, and an otherwise functioning democracy. China has been attempting to draw Taiwan into the rest of the country gradually, through its "One county, two policies" approach - basically asserting control politically, but not (yet) militarily. The US has been trying to resist, but there's really not too much they can do.

Closer to home, Mexican immigrants have been infiltrating the border with the US, against our laws, to take advantage of the opportunities provided here in the richest country in the world. The Mexican government, obstinately a democracy, has been supporting these immigrants, and really has no reason to do otherwise.

Here, the situation is reversed from where it is in China: instead of a small, well-organized group going against the destitute masses, we have a small amount of really poor people going against a large group of people who are better off. Despite this, though, in both cases the underlying issue is the same - national laws are coming before more basic human rights.

Both of these places would do well to get together and 'market' their causes in international terms, rather than as isolated struggles.

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