Sun, Oct 28, 2018 - Page 6 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Let Taiwan be the eye of the storm

In her Double Ten National Day address, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) put forward “four will-nots” — stating that “we will neither act rashly to escalate confrontation, nor will we give in. I will not be provoked into confrontation or conflicts that endanger cross-strait relations, nor will I deviate from the will of the people and sacrifice Taiwan’s sovereignty.”

In response, China said that the statement was full of “two-nation theory,” confrontational thinking, and supported Western, anti-China elements that are trying to contain China.

The term “Western anti-China elements” has always been used by Beijing when discussing international political science, but is the combined result of Beijing’s collision with the international order and its persecutory delusions.

The reason China associates Tsai’s address with this is mainly because of the recent counterattacks initiated by US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence against China.

At the beginning of his presidency, Trump was not against China, and even called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a man whom he likes and wants to respect. Relations between Trump and Xi were once so close that it became cause for concern in Taiwan.

However, the honeymoon did not last long. Due to issues ranging from the Korean Peninsula, South China Sea and cross-strait relations to the trade war and US midterm elections next month, China has been challenging US interests in the Asia-Pacific and even in the international community.

Even the “cutthroat” diplomatic war against Taiwan has spread into the US’ backyard, and China has blatantly tried to influence the US midterm elections.

These actions were mostly initiated by Xi, leaving Trump no choice but to rise up, defending US interests and the international order.

However, China interprets this as Western, anti-China elements trying to contain China. It is simply reversing cause and effect.

The same trick is also being used against Taiwan. Beijing is forcing Taiwan to swallow the so-called “1992 consensus” and “two shores, one China” as a precondition to restarting negotiations between the two sides of Taiwan Strait, while military aircraft are sent to cruise around and disturb Taiwan. The US had to send warships through the Taiwan Strait along the east coast of Taiwan to access a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its determination to safeguard the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and deter China from being reckless.

This is similar to the situation in the South China Sea — China’s militarization in the area has caused tension among claimant states in the region, so US-led Western countries have responded by sending aircraft and ships on freedom of navigation exercises there.

The so-called Western, anti-China elements were essentially triggered by China’s ruthless dominance, leading to a response from US-led democratic countries and the formation of the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

Beijing has accused Taiwan of working with the West to contain China, never reflecting that it is the one that started it all. China’s attempt to annex Taiwan has forced Taiwan to stand on the other side. Its digital totalitarianism forces Taiwan to embrace universal values. Its military coercion forces Taiwan to team up with allies that have common interests.

The situation in Hong Kong has forced Taiwanese to firmly choose democracy, even though Beijing is trying to cultivate its economic pro-unification influence.

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