Sun, Jan 14, 2018 - Page 6 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Taiwan needs to stand up to China

However, it is not just that China has never loosened its grip militarily on Taiwan in its effort to annex the nation.

The Ma administration opened the door and invited disaster in with its brazen policy of cozying up to Beijing. So-called “cross-strait exchanges” provided China with the perfect means to infiltrate Taiwan through tourism, study trips, symposiums, study abroad programs and setting up a liaison office, and were used by the Chinese authorities to gather intelligence, obtain military secrets, build a network of spies, informants and sleeper agents, as well as carry out other shady practices.

In addition, high-level Chinese officials came to Taiwan as part of their government’s “united front” strategy and were even able to buy off Taiwanese media and purchase advertising. At some places that Chinese officials visited, the Republic of China (ROC) flag was hidden from view.

In the one-sided rush to engage in exchanges with China, the ROC was starved of oxygen. Even at the famous meeting between Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), the name “ROC” never passed either leader’s lips. Beijing then took advantage by ramping up its “united front” strategy in Taiwan.

This strategy has been successful and led to confusion regarding who the enemy is, such as when a retired Taiwanese general on a visit to China stated that the ROC army and China’s PLA are “both Chinese armies.” This was the mother of all U-turns for the army that, during the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) era, shouted anti-Communist slogans louder than anyone else.

The unseemly sight of army generals toadying to their “superiors” across the Taiwan Strait is the inevitable consequence of Ma’s pro-China policies. The Ma administration damaged the ROC through its decision to emasculate the nation’s flag and to view China’s “united front” strategy as “expressions of goodwill” toward Taiwan. Ma and his cronies were either pure evil or really stupid.

The public saw through the subterfuge of Ma’s party-state regime and in 2016 booted his party out of office, giving the Democratic Progressive Party both the government and a legislative majority.

Since then, Beijing has switched tactics. In addition to its official hardline stance toward Taiwan, its “united front” divide-and-rule strategy has reached new heights of malice.

As the case of alleged Chinese spy Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭) demonstrates, China is not just developing an organizational structure within Taiwan, it has also developed clear lists of people to target for its cause.

This year is an election year in Taiwan. One thing is for sure: Beijing will certainly not be content to watch from the sidelines. One can confidently predict that China will use fake news, violence, public events and other tactics to intervene and even financially support China-friendly politicians and candidates through its networks.

Xi caught the attention of European and US media when he delivered a speech to the PLA in which he dusted off a slogan from the Mao Zedong (毛澤東) Cultural Revolution era: “We’re not afraid of hardship; we’re not afraid to die.”

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