Sun, Jan 05, 2020 - Page 6 News List

Facing up to Beijing’s arrogance, ignorance

By Ted Yoho

The arrogance and ignorance of Beijing are highlighted in recent comments by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Liu Jieyi (劉結一) as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues a policy of intimidation toward Taiwan ahead of the consequential elections on Saturday.

Liu said: “Today, we are closer than any other historical period and are more confident in achieving the goal of our grand mission of the Chinese renaissance.”

Mr Liu continued, “Beijing is more capable than ever of reuniting Taiwan with the mainland given the rise of its global influence.”

Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) complex — comprised of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), the CCP politburo and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army — continues to deliberately ignore the will of the people of Taiwan.

China’s ignorance assumes Taiwan desires to be controlled by it.

Liu and the CCP complex are falsely operating on a misguided belief that Taiwan is part of the PRC. Not so, if one looks at history.

Misdirected foreign policy under then-US president Richard Nixon and then-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger created a cloud of confusion over the status of Taiwan. This culminated when former US president Jimmy Carter nullified the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty in 1979.

Convoluted diplomatic arrangements were created to avoid offending delicate communist sensibilities. But in reality, Taiwan’s status is not so complicated. “Reunification” is a deception based on a false premise. Taiwan has never been a part of the PRC, so “reunification” is impossible.

The CCP complex ignorantly assumes that Taiwan and its citizens desire to be part of the PRC due to China’s increased world influence.

This assumption is overwhelmingly not true. This confusion needs to be cleared before China makes another Hong Kong misstep.

The question that must be answered is this: Is Taiwan an independent country or a province of the PRC? The people of Taiwan already know the answer and will give it during the elections.

Today, Taiwan is a nation of more than 23 million citizens that has a sovereign border, its own military, flag, national anthem, economy and one of the best-functioning democracies in Asia. When Taiwanese are asked about being part of China, the answer is a clear “no.” Indeed, polling of those under the age of 35 shows that the answer is a resounding “no.”

For the past three decades, China has isolated Taiwan from the international community. It has bullied countries and businesses into breaking ties with Taiwan through intimidation, coercion and threats of losing access to the Chinese market of 1.3 billion people.

The free world should refuse to bow to this bullying and ignore China’s claims of sovereignty over Taiwan. The rest of the world can and must prioritize the liberty and well-being of the 6.2 billion people who live outside mainland China.

As a part of this challenge, countries which value freedom and democracy will be called upon and citizens across the globe will have to voice their support of the island nation of Taiwan. If not, the PRC will move on it and a chaos worse than Hong Kong would occur.

I, for one, stand with the independent nation of Taiwan.

Ted Yoho is the US representative for Florida’s Third Congressional District and is the ranking Republican member of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation.

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