Taiwan is one of very few countries about which it can be said that it faces a threat to its survival. Given this, decisionmakers should ensure that resources and energy are properly channeled to meet any challenge head-on. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Israel’s situation is analogous to Taiwan’s: Both are threatened by an external enemy bent on denying them the right to exist and which have shown determination to use force to achieve that end. Granted, the analogy only goes this far, as the dynamics of power in the two conflicts differ markedly. In Taiwan’s case, it is the weaker party in the struggle, while Israel in its struggle has the upper hand militarily and is an occupying force, which generates a whole new set of grievances.
That being said, the threat facing Israel is no less serious and its gravity has served as a rallying force for its people. There are undeniably serious differences of opinion inside Israel about how to deal with the challenges created by the Palestinians’ right to self-determination or attacks against Israelis by groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Israel’s democratic way of life has helped bring those differences into contrast. However, all Israelis, from those who support the use of force to resolve the conflict to those who regard the occupation as the main cause of the conflict, agree on the need to do what is necessary to ensure the survival of their nation.
This is an example that Taiwanese appear unwilling to follow. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that violence against Taiwan, apart from the 1995-1996 Missile Crisis, remains abstract, despite its formidable military foe across the Taiwan Strait. Consequently, the green-blue political schism continues to fracture the nation, a situation that bears great dangers when facing an external enemy. Aside from fostering disunity, the endless domestic battles over electricity price increases and imports of US beef, for example, take the government’s and political parties’ focus and resources away from productive issues.
Fueling this is the view, held by a number of people in the pan-green camp, that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are trying to “sell” Taiwan to China, a contention that holds little water once one has made the effort to actually talk with KMT members, their supporters and civil servants.
Despite all his flaws, Ma is not a dictator and could not be one even if he wanted to. He is part of a government, and Taiwan’s democratic system, flaws notwithstanding, imposes checks and balances on what he and his administration can do. The KMT has flouted democratic rules on a number of issues in the past four years, but it is hard to imagine it could get away with using “authoritarian” means to alter the fundamentals of Taiwan. Not even those who gave Ma a second mandate in January would allow him to do so.
Rather than launch attacks on what is regarded as the “proximate” enemy, the pan-green camp would be far more effective if it sought to establish constructive relationships with officials in the pan-blue camp who have the same democratic values and pride in Taiwan as they do, in an effort to focus on the one external force that can truly dissolve the nation: China.
There are potentially large, untapped resources in the pan-blue camp where the pan-green camp could make inroads if it tried. Such efforts would have far better chances of protecting the nation by presenting China with a united front, instead of spending nights in the legislature playing with furniture to prevent a vote on amendments on what are, in the end, mundane — and some would say inevitable — issues.
For Israelis, the threat is clear enough that they have little patience for clownish behavior in their parliament. Taiwanese are playing with fire if they think that their situation is any different.
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,
Taiwan is beautiful — no doubt about it. In Taipei, the streets are clean, the skyline is gorgeous and the subway is world-class. The coastline is easily accessible and mountains can be seen in the distance. The people are hardworking, successful and busy. Every luxury known to humankind is available and people live on their smartphones. As an American visiting for the first time, here are some things I learned about the country. First, people from Taiwan and America love freedom and democracy and have for many years. When we defeated Japan in 1945, Taiwan was freed from Japanese rule. In
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