While calling on the international community to respect China’s “right” to peaceful development, Beijing has yet to abandon its tendency to make requests that are diametrically opposed to that goal.
Again this week, Beijing called on Washington to facilitate mutual understanding and respect its core interests, which include its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. The problem with such assertions is that Beijing’s definition of mutual understanding is often irreconcilable with reality, or at least morality.
It is very difficult, for one, to increase mutual understanding when one side’s position is underscored by the deployment of 1,600 ballistic missiles. Surely, mutual understanding cannot include the other party’s acknowledgement that the Chinese military has a right to threaten Taiwan’s 23 million peace-loving people, let alone ignore their own preferences regarding their identity and the destiny of their nation.
Bowing to such calls for mutual understanding, with the threat of force as one of the main elements of that understanding, would be tantamount to moral capitulation on Washington’s part, whether as a country that perceives itself as a beacon of democracy or as Taiwan’s sole security guarantor.
The other, equally fatal, flaw in Beijing’s plea for mutual understanding is that on core issues, the understanding in fact is not mutual: It expects its counterparts to absorb, and if possible abide by, its own idiosyncratic view of the world, while categorically refusing to compromise. Taiwan again serves as a perfect example.
It is therefore anxiety-provoking when supposedly seasoned diplomats and strategists, such as former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, argue that at some point, the US will have to address the Taiwan “question” and “be sensitive to the meaning of this issue to China,” which in effect represents abdicating to calls by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) to increase mutual trust.
Never mind that Brzezinski was once again exhibiting his utter inability to understand Taiwan or that mutual trust should also include input from the 23 million people in Taiwan who would be most affected by a decision — which he only vaguely hints at — to abandon Taiwan.
The same applies to the argument, repeated by Brzezinski, that the desired “one China” could, through a peaceful process, exist in the form of several political systems. Here — and we have Hong Kong’s and Tibet’s experience as models — what we have is not mutual understanding, but wishful thinking, if not downright naivety. Beijing does not brook the existence of different political systems under “one China.” Since 1950, when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded Tibet, Tibetan customs and religion have become shadows of their former glory. The same applies to the tottering democratic system in Hong Kong, which little by little is being chopped away at the edges by Beijing and its minions inside the territory.
Beijing is not exactly receptive to the need for reciprocity that underscores mutual trust and understanding. Tibetans, Uighurs and Hong Kongers know full well from their own, for the most part painful, experience that, by Chinese definition, mutual understanding is a one-way street, and one that leads straight to Zhongnanhai.
So now Brzezinski and other China apologists would have Taiwanese show understanding for the PLA forcing them to live under the shadow of war? No sane person would understand, let alone accept, such a threat. That Beijing continues to aim those missiles at its “own blood” and “compatriots” only proves the point that the Chinese leadership could not care less about the opinions of others.
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