US National Security adviser Susan Rice on Monday said the US’ fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable relations between Taiwan and China, and that Washington opposes any unilateral attempt to change the “status quo.”
Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also pledged her cross-strait policy would be to maintain the “status quo,” while President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has claimed that cross-strait relations are at their best in more than 60 years.
What exactly is the cross-strait “status quo?” Who decided what is it? Who defines the term?
In view of recent incidents, China has been unilaterally changing the “status quo” and asserting its position as the dominant state in defining the so-called “cross-strait status quo.”
In terms of military might, China is changing the “status quo” through its buildup of ballistic missiles. The number of missiles China has aimed at the nation has increased to more than 1,600 over the years.
A defense paper released by the Japanese government suggested China’s military buildup has led to a shift in the Taiwan-China military balance in Beijing’s favor.
A Pentagon report released in May said that China’s military modernization program is dominated by preparations for a potential conflict with Taiwan.
Economically, China continues to suck away Taiwanese capital, resulting in a marginalized Taiwan.
Statistics from the Mainland Affairs Council show that Taiwanese exports to China in 1980 were 1.4 percent. That has increased to 45 percent last year.
This economic dependence on China to buy exports no doubt makes the nation more vulnerable to China and dampens its international economic competitiveness.
China has thrown away the principle of mutual respect in its dealings with Taiwan, evidenced by a new policy issuing an electronic “Taiwan compatriot travel document” to Taiwanese visitors, without discussions with the Executive Yuan.
The move, following China’s previous unilateral designation of the controversial M503 flight path and Beijing’s proclamation that cross-strait exchanges must be carried out on the basis of the so-called “1992 consensus” and that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China,” are all aimed at fostering a political illusion among members of the international community that the relationship between Beijing and Taipei is “central versus local,” in which China has the final say.
However, regardless of how brazenly Beijing alters the “status quo,” under the Ma government the nation remains relatively quiet with the government failing to assert Taiwan’s dignity.
Not a single word of condemnation nor protest was uttered by the Ma administration, just quiet rhetoric expressing regret.
While China has been changing the “status quo” all along, the Ma government continues to tout the fictitious “1992 consensus” as the basis for maintaining peaceful relations between Taiwan and China.
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
Taiwan’s status in the world community is experiencing something really different; it’s being treated like a normal country. And not just a “normal” country, more like a valuable, constructive, democratic and generous country. This is not simply an artifact of Taiwan’s successes in combatting the novel coronavirus. It is a new attitude, weighing Taiwan’s democracy against China’s lack of it. Before I continue, I should apologize to the readers of the Taipei Times. I have not visited Taipei since the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan’s new chancery building in Neihu last year, so I was unprepared for the photograph
At a June 12 news conference held by the Talent Circulation Alliance to announce the release of its white paper for this year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) emphasized that, in this era of globalization, Taiwan should focus on improving foreign language and digital abilities when cultivating talent, so that it stands out from global competitors. I suggest the government should consider building a professional translation industry. If the public believes that there is a relationship between learning English and national competitiveness, then the nation must consider the social cost of language education. This should be assessed to maximise educational effectiveness: Is
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a