During a speech on Sunday at the Straits Forum in Xiamen, China, and in an opinion piece published in the pro-Beijing China Times on Tuesday, media pundit Joyce Huang (黃智賢) unequivocally called for Taiwan to be unified with China.
She praised Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for his willingness to apply the “one country, two systems” model — which is foundering in Hong Kong — to Taiwan, saying it demonstrates his “respect” for and “goodwill” toward the nation.
She also wrote of how the continued cross-strait “status quo” would only lead to Taiwan’s increased marginalization, and how unification needs to be achieved for the sake of the next generation.
Huang’s sentiments undoubtedly found support from some quarters in Taiwan, but were met with anger from others. Several online commentators called for the government to rescind her citizenship.
Others asked her brother, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲), of the Democratic Progressive Party, what he thought of her comments. He said that they have opposing viewpoints and that Taiwan is a democratic nation that observes freedom of expression.
Therein lies the tension between protecting freedom of expression and safeguarding the nation from interference from hostile foreign powers.
On May 10, China held a forum in Beijing for members of the media in Taiwan and China. The forum was organized by Taiwan’s Want Want China Times Group and China’s Beijing Daily Group. Want Want owns the China Times, while the Beijing Daily is the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party’s Beijing Municipal Committee.
Present were Want Want China Times Group president Tsai Shao-chung (蔡紹中) and chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋), China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Liu Jieyi (劉結一), and former Taichung mayor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Jason Hu (胡志強).
The stated purpose of the forum was “to promote exchanges and cultural activity between the Chinese and Taiwanese media, to facilitate cooperation between members, and to jointly work toward the realization of the Great Renaissance of the Chinese nation and the creation of a conducive public discourse to this end.”
Wang said that the realization of “peaceful unification and ‘one country, two systems’ [on Taiwan] relied on the efforts of the media.”
Liu talked of how time and power were on the side of China, and called on the Taiwanese media to work hard to promote the ideas of unification and the “renaissance of the Chinese nation” among Taiwanese, saying that “history will remember you.”
The forum was openly calling on the pro-China media in Taiwan to make Taiwanese more amenable to unification, specifically under a “one country, two systems” model, and to persuade them that this is part of their destiny.
Huang’s speech and article can be seen as an extension of this effort.
The Chinese authorities are well aware of how hard it is to sell unification and the “one country, two systems” model to the majority of Taiwanese.
This media push is another facet of Beijing’s “united front” efforts.
The forum was not a backroom, closed door affair, but an open one with a number of Taiwanese media representatives attending. Beijing wanted it to be reported in Taiwan and it wanted Taiwanese to see it. The medium was part of the message.
On Sunday, there will be a march in Taipei calling for the government to take action to rein in the pro-China media. Nobody wants a return to Martial Law-era restrictions on the fourth estate, but it is of paramount importance that the public is made aware of what is happening.
South China Sea exercises in July by two United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers reminds that Taiwan’s history since mid-1950, and as a free nation, is intertwined with that of the aircraft carrier. Eventually Taiwan will host aircraft carriers, either those built under its democratic government or those imposed on its territory by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). By September 1944, a lack of sufficient carrier airpower and land-based airpower persuaded US Army and Navy leaders to forgo an invasion to wrest Taiwan from Japanese control, thereby sparing Taiwanese considerable wartime destruction. But two
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
This year, India and Taiwan can look back on 25 years of so-called unofficial ties. This provides an occasion to ponder over how they can deepen collaboration and strengthen their relations. This reflection must be free from excitement and agitation caused by the ongoing China-US great power jostling as well as China’s aggressive actions against many of its neighbors, including India. It must be based on long-term trends in bilateral engagement. To begin with, India and Taiwan, thus far, have had relations constituted by various activities, but what needs to be thought about now is whether they can transform their ties
As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei. However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong. There might be more