A number of people who call themselves supporters of Taiwanese independence have said that they do not intend to vote for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the Jan. 11 elections.
They have decided, so they say, to either spoil their ballot in some way, or else not to vote at all. While that point of view can be respected, their methods cannot be condoned.
The single greatest threat that Taiwan faces is undoubtedly the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) aim to annex Taiwan. If you call yourself a supporter of Taiwanese independence, it is understandable that you would want to oppose this threat.
The smart independence advocate would surely endeavor to support the candidate or party ideologically closest to their own beliefs — who would most want to safeguard Taiwan and work with them to combat the CCP’s representatives and running dogs in Taiwan.
In Taiwan’s political environment, the DPP is the strongest, largest force opposed to the CCP’s intention to annex Taiwan, so the party would normally be a magnet for independence advocates and top their list of allies — or, if advocates did not feel they could align themselves with the DPP per se, they would not view the party as an enemy.
Some think that the DPP has become a party supporting independence for the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, as opposed to independence for Taiwan itself, considering this position as essentially maintaining the existence of the exiled ROC state in this nation.
Even if true, these independence advocates should consider the DPP as a rival to be leveraged in the fight against their main enemy and continue supporting the party in the hope that it will hamper the CPP from realizing its aspiration to invade Taiwan.
Hopefully, when the election comes, people who consider themselves to be advocates of Taiwanese independence will be able to see long term and distinguish between what they perceive to be the lesser and greater evils.
If they wish to see Taiwan’s sovereignty consolidated, Tsai and the DPP will definitely be more reliable than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its presidential candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Under Tsai and the DPP, independence advocates will have more space to maneuver and be able to engage in the Taiwanese independence movement more easily and safely.
If Han and the KMT take power, the first thing that they would do is to open the gates to the Chinese communists and welcome them in, initiating peace talks and the implementation of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model in Taiwan, leaving the nation at the CCP’s disposal.
If this is allowed to come to pass, not only would the CCP’s representatives and running dogs in Taiwan be responsible, but also those independence advocates who trained their guns on Tsai and the DPP while ignoring the bigger picture.
Lin Ting-ying is a former student in National Taiwan University’s department of atmospheric sciences.
Translated by Paul Cooper
Chinese strongman Xi Jinping (習近平) hasn’t had a very good spring, either economically or politically. Not that long ago, he seemed to be riding high. The PRC economy had been on a long winning streak of more than six percent annual growth, catapulting the world’s most populous nation into the second-largest power, behind only the United States. Hundreds of millions had been brought out of poverty. Beijing’s military too had emerged as the most powerful in Asia, lagging only behind the US, the long-time leader on the global stage. One can attribute much of the recent downturn to the international economic
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a