The Chinese authorities have said that they are working on what they call a “Taiwanese independence name list,” which is to include people from all walks of life who promote Taiwan — in effect, a plan for settling scores.
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) scheme is simple: Suppress any declaration that Taiwan is an independent nation and splinter unity among Taiwanese.
Why should Taiwanese tolerate China telling Taiwan what to do? Taiwan is a democracy and all Taiwanese are the masters of Taiwan — China is a dictatorship.
The CCP does not have a legal basis for claiming to speak for all Chinese, let alone a basis for speaking its mind regarding Taiwan’s development as a nation.
In short, all it has are threats and intimidation.
The US leadership keeps saying that Taiwan is a country and not part of China. This view of Taiwan’s national status worries the CCP, which does not want Taiwanese to side with US opinion, because that might further alienate them from China.
Beijing is hurriedly cranking up its political intimidation machine — with the message that support for independence poses a serious risk to assets and livelihoods in the event of annexation — and persuading Taiwanese to turn their back on independence.
However, Taiwanese have realized that the CCP does not have a specific enemy — Beijing wants to quash democracy and freedom, and the values and way of life that they lead to.
This means that the CCP has a score to settle with all Taiwanese who enjoy life in a free and democratic society.
Discussion about a name list is just one part of the CCP’s strategy to turn Taiwanese against each other.
If Taiwan were to be annexed by China, it would not matter if someone was pro-independence, because anyone wanting to live in a society where the people call the shots would experience the same fate as Hong Kongers.
CCP rule would mean that no one would have the right to express a dissenting opinion.
After the desire for independence was deeply planted in Taiwan’s cultural soil, people began to describe themselves as “pro-independence authors,” “pro-independence entertainers” and even “pro-independence workers.”
The independence stance of the younger generation is what has naturally sprouted from this soil.
Closely tied to democracy and freedom, Taiwanese independence has clearly become the trend. The big question seems to be whether the CCP can come up with an exhaustive name list.
Chen Chi-nung is principal of Shuili Junior High School in Nantou County.
Translated by Perry Svensson
Beijing’s imposition of the Hong Kong National Security Law and a number of other democratic and human rights issues continue to strain relations between the UK and China. The tense situation has significantly decreased the likelihood of British Royal Navy ships being able to continue their practice of docking in Hong Kong’s harbor for resupply — a not altogether unpredictable development. In a Nov. 19 online speech to parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier would next year lead a British and allied task group to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia. Johnson
President-elect Biden and his team soon will confront a raging pandemic, a severe economic crisis, demands for progress in addressing racial injustices, intensifying climate-induced crises, and strained relations with allies and partners in many parts of the world. They will be oriented to view China as America’s greatest geostrategic challenge, but not the most immediate threat to the health and prosperity of the American people. Amidst this daunting inheritance, US-Taiwan relations will stand out as a bright spot, an example of progress that should be sustained. There are strong reasons for optimism about the continued development of US-Taiwan relations in the
Americans tend to think of Vietnam as a war that split the US rather than as a country in today’s world. Vietnamese are of course way past that. The country does not have any US Electoral College votes, but if it did, they would be cast enthusiastically for US President Donald Trump. When I told a group of university students at a park in Ho Chi Minh City that I was from the US, they asked: “Do you know why we love Trump?” “Uhhh, is it because he hates China?” I asked back. “Yeah,” the group responded in unison. With a 1,000-year history of
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday announced that Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a retired National Taiwan Normal University professor, who Beijing says is a spy, had been sentenced to four years in prison for espionage crimes. The news followed last week’s announcement by Beijing that it is compiling a “wanted list” of pro-independence “Taiwan secessionists” that would be used to “punish” those blacklisted under its national security laws. Taken together, the announcements show that Beijing’s Taiwan policy under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is becoming increasingly erratic, uncoordinated and poorly thought out, which raises serious questions about Xi’s leadership ability. Shih went missing