Within two weeks, president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited both the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, a developer of advanced weapon systems, and the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, a developer of aerospace and defense products. She gave talks showing expertise during both visits. These visits demonstrate that this woman can safeguard national security.
Taiwan might have disputes of ownership over certain islands and reefs with Japan and Vietnam, but it has a greater dispute over national sovereignty with China, which is seeking to annex Taiwan, so these visits were clearly pointed.
Tsai can come off as a little cowardly. When being bullied by China to accept the “1992 consensus,” she expressed hopes Beijing would show “greater goodwill.” After hearing her appeal, Chinese officials in charge of Taiwanese affairs have made reckless remarks and continued their bullying. And of course, their Taiwanese supporters were quick to chime in.
So is Tsai cowardly or courageous? She usually does more and talks less. Even if she gave talks when visiting the defense industry, her remarks were not provocative or pointed. As for the bullying by China and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), she responds in a mild manner and never fires back with emotion.
Tsai’s character is in line with the principle of “peace, rationality, non-violence and non-profanity.”
However, after following this principle for 20 years, Hong Kong’s freedom and rule of law have degenerated. Hong Kong’s use of “non-profanity” in principle might be a result of the British influence. Due to the gap between Western culture and traditional Chinese “ruffian culture,” the principle is having the opposite effect in Hong Kong.
Today, young people in Hong Kong are abandoning this principle for brave protests, and Beijing reacted forcefully. In particular, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) made threatening gestures, trying to win Beijing’s trust and his own reappointment by further intensifying opposition. Beijing has now softened its stance on Hong Kong’s protests after some deep reflection.
On the contrary, by following this principle, Tsai is being bullied more by Chinese officials and their flunkies, who think she is weak. They are pressuring her to accept their way, because “bullying the weak and fearing the strong” has always been the nature of these Chinese hoodlums.
If Tsai accepts the “1992 consensus” in exchange for greater goodwill, those bullies would demand that she accept that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “one China.” If you give them an inch they will take a mile, it is in the nature of bandits.
Beijing is softening its stance on the US, Japan and even Hong Kong, fearing war with the US and Japan. However, it is particularly hostile to Taiwan due to its misjudgment of Tsai’s approach.
The Democratic Progressive Party’s New Tide faction expelled former Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Hung Chi-chang (洪奇昌) for being a “follower” of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起), which should show Beijing that behind Tsai’s gentle appearance is strength. Her “peace, rationality, non-violence and non-profanity” policy is likely to win greater sympathy in the international community and she is going to break the “one-China” curse sooner or later.
In terms of Tsai’s inaugural speech on May 20, she is likely to give an appropriate response to China’s bullying and show Taiwanese dignity, boosting public morale.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Eddy Chang
China took advantage of the vacuum left behind when US carriers stayed out of the western Pacific Ocean due to COVID-19 outbreaks on several US Navy warships. The Chinese government is solidifying its hold on artificial islands in the South China Sea by moving in missiles and surveillance equipment, and formalizing its occupation by creating two municipal districts in the region under Hainan Island’s Sansha — Xisha District on Woody Island (Yongxing Island, 永興島) to administer the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) and Nansha District on Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef, 永暑島) to administer the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) —
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) yesterday wrapped up its annual party conference-cum-national decision-making forums in Beijing: the National People’s Congress (NPC) and National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known colloquially as the “two meetings.” They are normally tightly choreographed affairs, designed to project an image of stability and unassailable strength, but several events leading up this month’s sessions provided strong indications that all is not well in the state of Denmark. The first sign of major discontent came in March, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis in China, when an article by real-estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang
As last year drew to a close, Taiwan lost several of its dwindling set of diplomatic allies, and China all but claimed victory in the long quest for universal recognition of the Peoples Republic of China. While Taiwan remained marginalized from traditional international institutions, intensifying protests in Hong Kong raised the specter of military repression in the territories still coveted by Beijing. At celebrations marking 70 years of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) also reasserted China’s ultimate goal of reunifying Taiwan with the mainland. Then COVID-19 hit. The pandemic has opened deep wounds in the increasingly
French firm DCI-DESCO in April won a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s Lafayette frigates, which has strained ties between China and France. In 1991, France sold Taiwan six Lafayette frigates and in 1992 sold it 60 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. To prevent arms sales between the nations, China negotiated an agreement with France and in 1994 in a joint statement, France promised that there would be no future arms sales to Taiwan. From China’s point of view, the DCI-DESCO deal constitutes a breach of the agreement, but the French stance is that it is not selling Taiwan new weapons, but instead providing a