On Tuesday, Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib expressed his support for Taiwan on Twitter amid an outbreak of COVID-19 in the nation. In a reference clearly targeted at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hrib wrote: “I am appalled that politics is obstructing the delivery of vaccines to Taiwan. Prague supports Taiwan and our sister city Taipei.” Hrib is known to be friendly toward Taiwan, as are some other Czech politicians, including Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, who declared “I am a Taiwanese” in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Sept. 1 last year.
For that, he was threatened by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), and even though Wang, at the time visiting Europe, was subsequently asked to avoid such behavior, there was little pushback from European leaders.
On Wednesday last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) attended a forum organized by the European Values Center for Security Policy in Prague, prompting a complaint from the Chinese embassy in Prague. Czech lawmaker Jakub Janda, the center’s executive director, responded curtly to the complaint on Twitter: “We do not care about your opinion on our event, you will not dictate who our friends & guest are. Taiwan is our ally.”
These are small indications that the worm is turning. If politicians, such as Taiwan’s friends in Prague, are showing their growing distaste for the CCP’s bullying and domineering ways, then so, at long last, are those on the bigger stage of major international forums such as the G7 summit that concluded on Sunday. In the summit’s joint communique, the US and European participants delivered a historic rebuke of China and — significantly — mentioned Taiwan, the first time G7 leaders have done so.
Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co in international supply chains, exacerbated by awareness of the need to reorganize and protect them, have contributed to raising the nation’s profile on the global stage.
However, to a large degree, it is the CCP’s threatening behavior and its “wolf warrior diplomacy” that have placed such intense scrutiny on Taiwan as an exemplar of democratic values, and the importance of its geopolitical and technological strategic value for an international community increasingly concerned over China’s rise.
Taiwan has long known the CCP to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has allowed the facade to slip, revealing its true nature to the rest of the world. Xi’s recent urging of officials to soften the party’s image and make it more “trustworthy, lovable and respectable” are remarkable in how blind they are to the degree to which trust in the CCP has deteriorated. If the wolf attempts to drape the wool back over its shoulders, it will look foolish. The world knows what lies beneath.
Prior to the pandemic, Xi was making considerable headway in portraying China and its proposed China-centric international world order as an alternative to the US-led order to which the major European democracies adhered. Especially with former US president Donald Trump pulling out of international alliances, Xi was laying the foundations to depict China as a responsible member of the international community capable of assuming a leading role on issues such as multilateral cooperation, financial stability and global warming. The G7 joint communique signals that this attempt is dead in the water.
It would be naive to think that all was rosy within the EU, and in its relationship with the US, as the bloc is unsure of the US’ ability to continue being a stable and reliable ally, following the stress tests placed on that relationship by Trump’s isolationism. However, the CCP is the fresh mortar holding the shaky edifice together: Xi has given them a common cause.
As the incursions by China into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone intensify, the international community’s anxiety has risen over the question of whether the US military would become directly involved in the case of an attack on Taiwan. Washington’s long-held policy of “strategic ambiguity” does little to ease the trepidation. The rationale universally espoused on “strategic ambiguity” is that an announced commitment from Washington to directly defend Taiwan would encourage Taiwanese independence and consequently bring forth a Chinese military attack and a possible nuclear confrontation between two superpowers. However, this line of argument could soon lose steam if the subject is viewed from
Having deceived the world about its nuclear capabilities while preparing for an arms race, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now using its increasing nuclear forces for virtual nuclear coercion. This new threat will continue until the United States, Japan, and Taiwan can restore the CCP’s sense of fear. This dynamic is a familiar one for Taiwan. As the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) capabilities have grown, its inhibitions about conducting larger and more frequent coercive military demonstrations have shrunk. The PLA now more openly practices for the destruction of Taiwan’s democracy and the murder of its citizens. In the nuclear realm,
In an unprecedented move, a group of democratic nations led by the US, UK and EU in a joint statement on Tuesday accused the Chinese Ministry of State Security of having carried out a major cyberattack earlier this year and stealing data from at least 30,000 organizations worldwide, including governments, universities and firms in key industries. Western officials were reportedly perplexed by the attack’s brazen execution and unparalleled scale. In an article on the attack, BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera wrote: “Western spies are still struggling to understand why Chinese behavior has changed.” The attack raises the fear “that they [China]
At the conclusion of the G7 Leaders’ Summit on June 13, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who participated virtually, called for the reform of multilateral institutions as the best signal of commitment to the cause of open societies. His comments are significant in light of China’s ongoing and successful efforts to control international organizations, and, in particular, to keep Taiwan out of critical health agencies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s influence over the WHO is well known. It has used this control to deny Taiwan a place at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decisionmaking body of the WHO. Taiwan’s absence