Maybe it’s something in the water, but Chinese officials have developed the bad habit of airing their extreme nationalistic tendencies with a little more boldness when they find themselves in Japan, resulting in situations that often undermine Beijing’s objectives.
The latest such incident occurred on Saturday at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival, when the head of the Chinese delegation, Jiang Ping (江平), accompanied by a robotic-looking Chinese actress, attempted to drill into the heads of the Taiwanese delegation that they were all Chinese. Faced with the refusal of Government Information Office Department of Motion Pictures director Chen Chih-kuan (陳志寬), who headed the Taiwanese delegation, and the organizers of the film festival to change Taiwan’s name to “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei,” an outraged Jiang announced that China was partially pulling out of the festival.
The Chinese delegation decided to pull out of festival-related events because the organizers “covertly violated the ‘One China’ policy Jiang was quoted as saying by the Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party-run publication.
Interestingly, Jiang was also quoted as saying that the spat, and the decision to pull out of the film festival, had “nothing to do with our Taiwan compatriots” and was rather “the fault of the Tokyo organizers.”
Given Beijing’s silence on the matter, added to the fact that the news was covered in a state-owned publication, we can assume that Chinese authorities gave tacit approval to Jiang’s actions and that he wasn’t simply being overzealous. What this also points to is China’s efforts to portray Taiwanese as being on their side: It was all Tokyo’s fault, as it refused to respect the “one China” policy. In the process, Chen’s protest and clear declaration that he and his delegation were Taiwanese, not Chinese, was ignored, as if the opinion of the principal party in the equation — Taiwanese — didn’t count.
There is no doubt that Chen’s commendable resistance to Chinese bullying, rather than that of the film organizers, was the main reason behind Jiang’s fit, but no sooner had the delegate finished foaming at the mouth than party-controlled publications endeavored to portray this as the continuation of Japanese intervention in China’s domestic affairs.
In fact, the same Global Times article felt it necessary to add that the film festival is being held “amid simmering tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai [釣魚台] Islands.” Nearly half the article focuses on recent developments surrounding the contested islands, as if the simmering crisis were the real cause of the walkout at the film festival.
The article, coming as it does with Beijing’s blessing, highlights yet again the fact that China’s strategy for the annexation of Taiwan does not take the will of the people into consideration. This it does to such an extent that when Taiwanese express their opposition, their voices are silenced altogether. The root of the problem — Taiwanese identity and resistance to irredentism — is taken out of the equation, and the anger is deflected toward an external enemy, Japan.
However hard and often they try, however angrily, Chinese officials will not change the fact that their so-called “Taiwanese compatriots” are unwilling to forsake their identity, even as relations between the two countries improve in certain areas. Chinese tourists may come in droves, students can enter our classrooms and Chinese firms can invest all they want in various sectors of the Taiwanese economy, but when it comes to identity, Chen put it as simply as one could near the “green carpet” in Tokyo: “You are Chinese, I am Taiwanese.”
Unless Hollywood movies like Greenland, Deep Impact, and Armageddon have predictive powers and a rogue space rock is heading our way, stopping Chinese Communist Party expansionism is likely to prove the single most challenging and dangerous problem of our lifetimes. How can the United States, Taiwan, and other liberal democracies prepare for and prevent attacks from China? How can Washington bolster Taipei’s confidence when it doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a real country and, so far, lacks the political will to make major adjustments to its ossified China policy and Taiwan policy? How can Taiwan make itself heard on the world stage when
Hypersonic weapons are defined as armaments capable of traveling at speeds faster than Mach 5 and can be broadly classified into two types: hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) and hypersonic cruise missiles. The former are launched into the upper atmosphere by ballistic missiles. The vehicle is then separated from the booster to maneuver, or glide, toward its target. The latter can be launched from a jet plane or rocket to reach supersonic speed before igniting a scramjet engine to achieve hypersonic speeds. As the US engages in a great-power competition with China and Russia, all three countries are racing to field hypersonic
The number of people emigrating from Hong Kong has been rapidly increasing, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data show, with the territory’s population dropping by 110,000 people from 2019 to this year. China’s imposition of a National Security Law has clearly triggered a massive population outflow. However, not only people but also foreign businesses are leaving Hong Kong. For example, Vanguard Group, the world’s second-largest asset management company, VF Corp and Sony Interactive Entertainment have moved their top regional management from Hong Kong to Singapore. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, has also relocated staff
Double Ten Day, Oct. 10 every year, is an important day for Taiwan, as it marks the Republic of China’s (ROC) National Day. Major holidays are usually a time for celebration and commemorative activities, but among all the clamor and excitement, Double Ten reflects one essential fact: that Taiwan is still not a normalized society. As usual, there was a large parade in front of the Presidential Office Building, displaying to the world Taiwan’s social diversity and its soft and hard power, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) gave an address, relaying her message to the nation and to the world, while the