Not so long ago, as he strutted the world and spearheaded the drive to carve out for Taiwan international space commensurate with its weight, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was accused by Beijing, other detractors and a handful of news outlets of being “provocative,” and his firebrand approach to politics was blamed for many ills, real and imagined.
With Chen no longer in office, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its supporters — who can be found as far as the White House and Foggy Bottom in Washington — have been sighing in relief, confident that “provocations” are a thing of the past. For a while, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “peace overture” to Beijing also seemed it would obviate the need for such “provocations.”
But then something strange happened: The KMT started using the P-word on its own people, such as when Cheerleading Squad for Taiwan captain Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如) was denied entry into Beijing by Chinese immigration authorities. While some in the Cabinet made mild remonstrations at the treatment Yang received, others, including KMT legislators Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) and Justin Chou (周守訓), used language that made them sound more like Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials than members of a Taiwanese political party.
Wu described Yang’s approach to publicizing her upcoming trip to Beijing as — yes — “provocative,” as if it were abnormal for cheerleading teams at the world’s gaudiest quadrennial media splurge to seek a little publicity. Wasn’t the Sudanese nationality of the US flag bearer at the opening ceremony “provocative”? If the US can get away with touching such a sensible chord, surely Taiwan’s cheerleading team, which had vowed to keep a low profile, should have been allowed in.
What KMT legislators like Wu and Chou are trying to do, as are others who remain silent about how Yang’s (and others’) rights were denied by Chinese authorities, is silence the Taiwanese who seek to express their pride for who they are and the land they come from.
Such people could become more vociferous, as the KMT’s “peace” efforts are increasingly starting to look like a naive reading of Beijing’s intentions or, worse, an abject sellout, with China’s military posture remaining unchanged amid minor humiliations here and there that, by dint of repetition, threaten to whittle away at Taiwan’s sovereignty.
The removal of the Democratic Progressive Party from office did not mean that Taiwanese stopped caring about their identity, or that they were ready to abandon the freedom won through blood, terror and long prison sentences during the Martial Law era.
While many have shown patience as Ma promises “peace in our time,” if this pie in the sky threatens to fall on our heads, or if the KMT’s efforts come to be interpreted as an attempt by either side of the Taiwan Strait to change the “status quo” and engineer annexation by China, Taiwanese will not remain silent for long, and the KMT will find itself with a large “provocative” population on its hands.
The real test, then, will be whether the KMT acts like a Taiwanese political party by respecting those voices, or sides with the CCP in calling them “provocations” and seeking to silence them.
As China’s economy was meant to drive global economic growth this year, its dramatic slowdown is sounding alarm bells across the world, with economists and experts criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for his unwillingness or inability to respond to the nation’s myriad mounting crises. The Wall Street Journal reported that investors have been calling on Beijing to take bolder steps to boost output — especially by promoting consumer spending — but Xi has deep-rooted philosophical objections to Western-style consumption-driven growth, seeing it as wasteful and at odds with his goal of making China a world-leading industrial and technological powerhouse, and
For Xi Jinping (習近平) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the military conquest of Taiwan is an absolute requirement for the CCP’s much more fantastic ambition: control over our solar system. Controlling Taiwan will allow the CCP to dominate the First Island Chain and to better neutralize the Philippines, decreasing the threat to the most important People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Strategic Support Force (SSF) space base, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. Satellite and manned space launches from the Jiuquan and Xichang Satellite Launch Centers regularly pass close to Taiwan, which is also a very serious threat to the PLA,
During a news conference in Vietnam on Sept. 10, a reporter asked US President Joe Biden about the possibility of China invading Taiwan. Biden replied that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is too busy handling major domestic economic problems to launch an invasion of Taiwan. On Wednesday last week, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office published a document outlining 21 measures to make the Chinese-controlled Fujian Province into a demonstration zone for relations with Taiwan. The planned measures would expand favorable treatment for Taiwanese people and companies, and seek to attract people from Taiwan to buy property and seek employment in Fujian.
More than 100 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) vessels and aircraft were detected making incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday and Monday, the Ministry of National Defense reported on Monday. The ministry responded to the incursions by calling on China to “immediately stop such destructive unilateral actions,” saying that Beijing’s actions could “easily lead to a sharp escalation in tensions and worsen regional security.” Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said that the unusually high number of incursions over such a short time was likely Beijing’s response to efforts