China makes no secret of its ambition to annex Taiwan. The objective is clear in Chinese officials’ repeated insistence that Taiwan is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic of China — “one that must be brought back into the fold of the motherland” — as well as in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) reiteration in September last year of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” formula for Taiwan.
For anyone who still clings to the illusion that China harbors no ill-intention toward Taiwan, they need look no further than footage of recent Chinese war games to be convinced of its aggression and malice. In a three-minute video clip aired by state-run China Central Television on July 5, drills at Zhurihe Training Base featured People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops maneuvering toward a five-story building with a tower resembling Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building. Make no mistake — it is without a doubt that Taiwan was the imaginary enemy in these military exercises.
Should two countries claiming mutual goodwill use each other’s symbols of national sovereignty as the backdrops in military drills? The answer is most definitely: “No.” The footage comes as a slap in the face for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九); debunking the lies he has been telling Taiwanese that cross-strait relations are the best they have been in 66 years.
It is not child’s play to China: Its objective is to bring Taiwan into its fold and it has a step-by-step unification strategy. Ma, on the other hand, not only makes light of China’s increasing military threat, but gives people a false impression that cross-strait relations have improved under his government.
Ma’s so-called “Taiwan Strait peace” is superficial, as Beijing has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan to achieve its goal of unification; it is evident by the enacting of its “Anti-Secession” Law and the more than 1,600 ballistic missiles aimed across the Taiwan Strait.
As noted in a defense white paper released by the Japanese government on Tuesday, China’s military buildup has led to a shift in the Taiwan-China military balance in Beijing’s favor. Furthermore, a Pentagon report released in May said that China’s massive military modernization program is dominated by preparations for a conflict with Taiwan, adding that the PLA Air Force has stationed a large number of advanced aircraft within range of Taiwan.
The footage of the PLA simulating an attack on Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building serves as a reminder to the public of China’s malicious intent and the need to be vigilant at all times. Ma, as a responsible head of state, ought to be taking the assessments of the Ministry of National Defense seriously. He should also be paying closer attention to the comments the US and Japanese governments have made about China’s armed forces being a potential threat to Taiwan.
The Supreme Court last month upheld a life sentence for former Air Force captain Chiang Fu-chung (蔣福仲) for passing military secrets to China and “committing an act of espionage for the enemy” in violation of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法).
As it appears the nation’s officials and armed forces during Ma’s pro-China administration have grown confused about whether Communist China is a friend or foe, Ma is strongly advised to seek consultation from the Supreme Court judges on who Taiwan’s real enemy is.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday last week, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) wrote: “The KMT must fall for Taiwan to improve.’ Allow me to ask the question again: Is this really true?” It matters not how many times Hsu asks the question, my answer will always be the same: “Yes, the KMT must be toppled for Taiwan to improve.” In the lengthy Facebook post, titled “What were those born in the 1980s guilty of?” Hsu harked back to the idealistic aspirations of the 2014 Sunflower movement before heaping opprobrium on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP)
The scuffle between Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji and a Taiwanese diplomat at a Republic of China (ROC) Double Ten National Day celebration has turned into a public relations opportunity for the government, Beijing and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Although the incident occurred on Oct. 8, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) downplayed it, only for the story to be picked up by the foreign media, forcing the ministry to respond. The public and opposition parties asked why the government had failed to remonstrate more strongly in the first instance. It is still unclear whether the ministry missed a trick
US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, former US vice president Joe Biden, are holding their final debate tonight. In their foreign policy debate, China is sure to be a major issue of contention for the two candidates. Here are several questions the moderator should pose to the candidates: For both: In the first televised US presidential debates in 1960, then-Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy and his Republican counterpart, Richard Nixon, were asked whether the US should intervene if communist China attacked Taiwan’s outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu. Kennedy said no, unless the main island of Taiwan was also attacked.
For most of us, the colorful, otherworldly marinescapes of coral reefs are as remote as the alien landscapes of the moon. We rarely, if ever, experience these underwater wonderlands for ourselves — we are, after all, air-breathing, terrestrial creatures mostly cocooned in cities. It is easy not to notice the perilous state they are in: We have lost 50 percent of coral reefs in the past 20 years and more than 90 percent are expected to die by 2050, a presentation at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California, earlier this year showed. As the oceans heat further and