China has 496 missiles pointed at Taiwan. It has threatened an "abyss of war" if Taiwan refuses to acknowledge Chinese sovereignty. China's top military leaders have stated in no uncertain terms that force will be used if Taiwan declares independence -- even if doing so could mean the cancellation of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, cause a slowdown in China's economic development and lead to the deaths of many people.
\nLess publicized, but widely acknowledged by experts, is the information warfare that Beijing is waging against Taiwan.
\nChina is known to have placed thousands of spies in all sectors of Taiwanese society. In its attempts to disrupt Taiwan's communication and transportation networks, to instill fear and to induce an economic breakdown, China has resorted to such measures as hacking computers, spreading rumors and dispensing erroneous economic information.
\nIt has gone so far as to provide financial or moral support to politicians and political parties that are deemed acceptable to Beijing.
\nSurely, these are not initiatives designed to preserve the status quo and yet, in the recent summit between US President George W. Bush and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her inaugural address on May 20 firmly said: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.” The Chinese government was not too happy, and later that day, an opinion piece on the Web site of China’s state broadcaster China Central Television said: “While Tsai’s first inaugural address four years ago was read by Beijing as an ‘unfinished answer sheet,’ the one she presented this time was even more below-par.” Speaking to the China Review News Agency, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies vice president
French firm DCI-DESCO in April won a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s Lafayette frigates, which has strained ties between China and France. In 1991, France sold Taiwan six Lafayette frigates and in 1992 sold it 60 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. To prevent arms sales between the nations, China negotiated an agreement with France and in 1994 in a joint statement, France promised that there would be no future arms sales to Taiwan. From China’s point of view, the DCI-DESCO deal constitutes a breach of the agreement, but the French stance is that it is not selling Taiwan new weapons, but instead providing a
Affected by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have implemented disease prevention measures such as city lockdowns, factory closures, travel restrictions and border controls. These resulted in slowing economic activitiy and dwindling global trade, which have negatively affected Taiwan’s export-reliant economy. Consequently, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) last week revised downward its economic growth forecast for Taiwan for the second time this year. The DGBAS on Thursday predicted the nation’s GDP would expand 1.67 percent this year. The agency’s new forecast is lower than the 2.37 percent it estimated in February, and weaker than Taiwan’s economic