Mon, May 20, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Ian Easton On Taiwan: Xi Jinping’s master plan to support Taiwan independence

According to the Central Propaganda Department, Xi Jinping (習近平) is a wise man, a great man, a man with a glorious plan for China’s and Taiwan’s future. If true, his plan must be super subtle and strategic. Please allow me, a foreign simpleton, to shine light on what may be going on in Beijing’s innermost halls of power.

I know what you are thinking: an American could never do justice to the brilliance of Xi Jinping Thought! That is true. But General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi is reportedly benevolent and forgiving. Indeed, he allows foreign idiots to interpret his designs all the time. This is well known to China hands everywhere.

You may also worry that I could spoil Commander-in-Chief Xi’s magnificent blueprint by rolling it open before the time is ripe. Let me assure you, for reasons of which you will soon be aware, there’s no stopping his plan. It is like light past the event horizon of a black hole. A new dimension of time and space awaits!

The truth could be as simple as it is shocking: President Xi wants to set Taiwan free. He intends to ensure this democratic island nation, which is also known as the Republic of China, goes its own way and never looks back. That would explain why he appears so bent on pushing his Taiwanese counterparts away. He must cherish the hope that state-to-state relations can be realized soon. Time will tell if he runs out of patience.

It looks like Emperor Xi believes that Taiwan is a burden on the Chinese imperium. Taiwan’s dynamic market economy and free-wheeling representative government are something for the Chinese people to envy, of course, and even to emulate. But the island ties down a million of Xi’s troops, a colossal naval fleet, and untold numbers of propagandists and spies. All of that is expensive and difficult for a fiscally prudent bureaucrat to justify. Let’s not forget, Xi is leader of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission too.

How better to ensure long-term regional stability and financial solvency than to convince Taiwan to cut loose from the mainland without fighting? However, even after 70 years of actual separation, it’s not like Xi can wave a magic wand and achieve a permanent split. So, what to do? While no one knows for sure, it seems likely that Legum Doctor in Marxist Thought Xi began developing his game plan in the early 1990s, when he was the Chinese Communist Party boss of Fuzhou, the closest major city in China to Taipei. Back then, Dr. Xi’s strategy was a mere seedling. Now it is a giant, unshakable redwood.

The strategy appears to have at least five major phases. These are probably being conducted in an overlapping fashion to strengthen the overall effect.

Phase One: Turn China into a dictatorship. Helmsman Xi has undoubtedly read Benjamin Franklin, who wrote, “much the strength of government depends on the opinion of the people, and much of that opinion on the choice of rulers placed immediately over them.” By brutally purging massive numbers of his rivals and their supporters and affiliates in Beijing, Xi can gently nudge Taiwanese public opinion to move in the right direction. It’s all too easy to take freedom for granted when there’s no authoritarian point of juxtaposition.

Phase Two: Spurn all goodwill. The Taiwanese are good-natured folk, apt to show affection to Chinese interests and patiently bear grievances. Since 1987, they have increased the Chinese Communist Party’s strength exponentially with their giant mainland investments and exchanges of managerial and technical knowhow across the Taiwan Strait. They probably suppose some thanks are warranted and feel entitled to some favor. Sensing an excellent opportunity, chairman of the Commission on Military-Civil Fusion Xi has taken pains to forget it all, or resent it, as if Taiwan had done the mainland injury. That sends a wonderful signal to the Taiwanese business community.

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