Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 6 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Industry secrets are tools of war

As China engages in a military, economic and diplomatic total war against Taiwan, the international community has not stayed on the sidelines, but has paid close attention to the spillover effects of the Chinese threat.

In connection to the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), the US, Japan, Germany and the EU have expressed their support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO. It is reported that even if Taiwan is not invited to the WHA this year, bilateral talks between the US and Taiwanese health ministers are still to take place on the event’s sidelines.

For China, which claims that “Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHA will not create a loophole in global epidemic prevention,” the international community’s increasing attention to and support for Taiwan must be unexpected. It is also a reflection of the growing distance between the two nations.

China’s attack on the diplomatic battlefield is also enough for the international community to clearly see who the troublemaker is that is causing tension in the Taiwan Strait and pushing the “status quo” toward conflict.

Since US President Donald Trump took office, his “America first” policy has reframed geopolitics and begun to impede China’s ascendancy. This change to the bigger picture is naturally reflected in the so-called “cross-strait” relationship.

Taiwan is bearing the brunt of China’s rising hegemony and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) removal of presidential term limits. Whether things are going well for Xi or not, Taiwan could at any moment become a target as China vents its nationalism.

On the other hand, Taiwan is becoming an indispensable democratic role player in the containment of China and the formation of the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.

Since Trump took office, several bills and actions have been aimed at strengthening Taiwan-US relations. This is by no means random. With China’s rising hegemony and the democratic containment strategy against Beijing, Taiwan is being pushed to the forefront of geopolitics.

At the same time, the changes in Taiwan’s domestic situation have coincided with the external changes. Public support for maintaining independence is growing stronger as the pro-unification regime has been replaced by a Taiwan-centered government.

Whether this is because of mainstream opinion or the government, China continues to pressure Taiwan and the illusion of a peaceful cross-strait situation has been destroyed by Beijing.

Despite Beijing’s intimidation and the China-friendly noises within Taiwan, public opinion still favors maintaining the independence “status quo.”

The US has never exerted influence on Taiwan to submit to Beijing’s “one China” principle.

In the past few months, Beijing has conducted stress tests against Taiwanese independence in the form of live-fire exercises, sending military aircraft to encircle the nation and the “united front” tactic of using 31 incentives to attract Taiwanese to China.

The strategic conflict and trade friction between the super powers bring both risk and opportunity for Taiwan.

At first, China’s attempt to take over Taiwan was because of the civil war and Beijing wanting to avoid a counterattack by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石). After that, it was to meet the need to expand beyond the first island chain and gain influence over the western Pacific.

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