Tue, Nov 14, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Wheels turning in Taiwan’s favor

By Huang Tien-lin 黃天麟

In what direction is the great wheel of history turning? It surely must turn in the direction that the 7.6 billion people who live on Earth collectively wish it to go, reflecting the collective aspirations of almost 200 nations.

It cannot be decided by a single individual, nor by a single nation. It certainly cannot be decided by the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For every turn of the Earth on its axis, the world’s 7.6 billion people move through one more day.

Taiwan is a part of all this. With China’s rise, Beijing’s tone has, from one day to the next, become increasingly aggressive and demanding. People everywhere are telling Taiwanese that “time is not on Taiwan’s side.”

However, these people are like the proverbial toad at the bottom of the well, looking up at a circumscribed sky — they believe they have all the facts, unaware that they can see but a tiny part of the whole.

For more than a year now, the wheel of history has been turning, slowing but surely, in a direction that is beneficial to Taiwan.

Take, for example, the North Korean crisis. Pro-China academics and media have been saying that the US could sell Taiwan out if this would help it resolve the crisis with North Korea — by, for instance, signing a fourth communique with China. This flies in the face of common sense. It says more about what they would like to see happen than what is actually likely to happen.

The question is: Which is more important to the US: Taiwan or North Korea? Anyone with the slightest bit of common sense understands that, as far as the US is concerned, protecting Taiwan is far more important than resolving the North Korean crisis.

The worst-case scenario with North Korea is having just one more member, in addition to China, Russia, India and Pakistan, in the club of nations with nuclear weapons.

However, with the loss of Taiwan, the US can say goodbye to its influence in East Asia.

With the close of the CCP’s congress, China finally got its dictator: Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

In his report to the congress, Xi mentioned “Chinese characteristics” and the “Chinese dream” more than 40 times, making it clear that China would change the rules of the game in its own way.

He laid out the party’s plans for China to become a global superpower. There were some people in Taiwan who enthusiastically bought into Xi’s vision, but in the Western world it was met only with a deadly silence, as fear of a “Chinese nightmare” started creeping in.

Some people have suggested that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s electoral win on Oct. 22, in which he secured close to two-thirds of the seats in parliament, was due in large part to concerns over North Korea.

Actually, it was not North Korea: It was concern over what was happening in China, with Xi and the congress.

When Japanese saw the pomp and circumstance in China, why would they have voted in the opposition party? If Abe serves his full term and is in power until 2022, this can only be good for Taiwan.

Next, there is the shift to the right in Europe. In the Czech Republic’s general election, Czech prime minister-elect and ANO party leader Andrej Babis — who has earned himself the name “Czech Donald Trump” — won 78 seats in the nation’s legislature, making his party the largest.

Prior to this — although German Chancellor Angela Merkel was able to hold on to power, securing a fourth term in office — the right-wing Alternative for Germany party managed to win more than 90 seats, making it the third-largest party in Germany.

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