EDITORIAL: Democracies must side with Taiwan - Taipei Times
Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 8 News List

EDITORIAL: Democracies must side with Taiwan

Despite its self-proclaimed “peaceful rise,” China appears eager to flaunt its self-perceived superiority by imposing “Chinese values” on the rest of the world, while pushing an agenda aimed at establishing the false impression that Taiwan is a part of it.

What are these “Chinese values”? Judging by Chinese communist ideology, they seem to be no more than an overbearing attitude and a total lack of respect for human rights and the freedom of expression.

A case in point is GQ China withdrawing a job offer to GQ Taiwan editor-in-chief Blues To (杜祖業), allegedly due to a ribbon he wore at a farewell party in Taipei that read “take back the mainland.”

Another example is Beijing pressuring international companies, including German automaker Daimler and auto supplier Robert Bosch, into changing Taiwan’s name on their Web sites to “Taiwan (China).”

Government agencies and global non-governmental organizations have also been targeted by Beijing.

Nigeria, Bahrain, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan cited pressure from China when requesting the removal of the words “Republic of China” or “Taiwan” from the names of Taiwan’s representative offices in their nations, while the World Gold Council in its latest Gold Demand Trends report mentioned “the People’s Republic of China” when naming Taiwan.

Yet another example is a letter the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration on April 25 sent to 36 foreign airlines, including US carriers, demanding that they change the references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their Web sites to conform with the Chinese Communist Party’s standards.

To is a victim of China’s augmented “Big Brother” ego, while the other cases demonstrate Beijing’s continuous attempts to belittle Taiwan by interfering in other nations’ and entities’ internal affairs.

However, with its letters of demand to airlines, China seems to have bitten off more than it could chew, as the White House on Saturday slammed the letters as “Orwellian nonsense,” saying it was “part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies.”

China’s rulers, who apparently think that the world revolves around them, have challenged the democratic values treasured by the US.

Taiwanese have often criticized the international community for what they perceived as a hypocritical display of friendship with Taiwan, as nations smile at it only to turn around and fawn over China, not daring to speak up against its despotism.

Moreover, due to China’s bullying and overbearing attitude, Taiwan and Taiwanese are often subjected to absurd treatment at international events, where the nation’s sovereignty is downgraded through the use of ludicrous titles.

The White House’s denunciation may have been made mostly out of consideration of its national interests, but Taiwan still appreciated the US’ concern.

Any nation that truly values democracy should side with Taiwan — which is touted as a success story in a region beset by authoritarian regimes and populist strongmen and strongwomen.

The US’ denunciation of China’s attempts to meddle in other nations’ and entities’ affairs should serve as a paragon for other nations on issues pertaining to the promotion — and protection — of democratic values.

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