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Posts published in “China/Taiwan Relations”

TAIPEI Act Passes Senate and House Committee

Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the TAIPEI Act, a bill that is intended to encourage countries to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and to punish with U.S. sanctions countries that break ties with Taiwan in favor of mainland China. The House version of the bill also passed unanimously in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

As reported by Taiwan News, members of the House spoke in favor of formal recognition of Taiwan as an independent country.

Of course, if Taiwan should declare full independence and the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as independent, the CCP will blow a gasket.

Our attitude is that if the CCP vehemently opposes something, it is almost certainly the right thing to do. We encourage the House to quickly pass the TAIPEI act and for President Trump to sign the bill into law.

Beyond that, it’s a fact that the People’s Republic of China and the CCP have never controlled Taiwan, and the CCP’s claims on Taiwan are completely illegitimate. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, and should be recognized as such.

Nevertheless, the CCP’s military threats against Taiwan cannot be ignored. Xi Jinping has said that if Taiwan declares itself an independent country, the CCP will take military action, invading Taiwan to forcibly integrate it into the People’s Republic of China. (Ironically, to claim independence, Taiwan – the Republic of China -would have to give up its historical claims as the legitimate government of the Chinese mainland). So, before declaring independence, Taiwan would need formal defense treaties with the U.S. and neighboring countries. It is unlikely that will happen any time soon, so for now, supporting Taiwan through arms sales, consultation, diplomatic measures (like the TAIPEI Act) and so on is the most likely – and probably the correct – path forward for the time being.

Taiwan is an example of what mainland China could be – a free and open democratic nation where the rights and opinions of its citizens are protected and respected. Its peaceful transition from a dictatorial regime under the Kuomintang to a true democracy is an inspiration to the world.

Bring Taiwan into the United Nations

In an article in The Diplomat, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu, argues persuasively that Taiwan should be included in the United Nations. ChinaDailyNews agrees.

Taiwan’s government is freely, fairly, and democratically elected, and thus is a government that legitimately represents the people of Taiwan. The undemocratic, repressive, dictatorial CCP-controlled government of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing does not and never has. By what kind of twisted logic does the United Nations, an international body ostensibly committed to human rights, allow the CCP to claim that it does?

Of course, the United Nations is mostly ineffective and useless, especially the egregious “Human Rights Council,” which spends a substantial part of its time issuing resolutions condemning Israel – the one country in the Middle East that actually respects human rights.

Despite that, allowing Taiwan to participate fully in the United Nations is just and fair. It is deplorable that the UN member nations have allowed Beijing to bully them into blocking Taiwan’s participation in the community of nations as represented there. We urge the U.S. government and the other democratic, freedom-loving nations of the world to resist the CCP’s bullying and restore Taiwan’s membership in the U.N. as the Republic of China.

Hong Kong: How Should the West Respond?

In a post on PJ Media about the recent brutality by Hong Kong police, Michael van der Galien says

Beijing is willing to go much further than beating up some protesters — and there is nothing the West can do about it.

Michael van der Galen in PJ Media

We emphatically disagree.

So, what can the West do about the Hong Kong and Beijing governments’ continual erosion of the rights of the people of Hong Kong, police brutality by the Hong Kong police and/or CCP infiltrators, arrest and jailing of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and lawmakers, expulsion and disappearing of anti-CCP commenters, authors, and journalists, and all of the other trouble being stirred up by the CCP recently?

Let’s say right up front that war is not a solution anyone with a brain or functioning conscience wants. What else can be done?

Here are some things:

  • No longer issue any student visas for Chinese students to study in the universities of Western countries, and send those currently studying here back to China. The children of many of the Chinese elite study in the U.S. and Europe. In fact, Chinese president Xi Jinping’s daughter, Xi Mingze, graduated from Harvard.
  • Pressure/incentivize companies to no longer do their manufacturing in China and not to sell to China or in China. The rising standard of living in China is what the CCP has been using to sell their rule to the people. If the economy suffers and China’s standard of living suffers with it, the CCP may face internal unrest and dissension. [Update: In fact, doing this is likely to be the most difficult step to achieve. Business people will resist any effort to reduce their access to Chinese markets and cheap manufacturing.]
  • Cut academic, cultural, and business ties and exchanges, and reduce or even eliminate tourist, business, and other visas granted to Chinese citizens.
  • Freeze assets of Chinese government officials held in Western banks.
  • Increase tariffs on Chinese goods even more.
  • Increase military and economic ties with Taiwan, and continue to sell military hardware to Taiwan. At this point, doing this is just prudent. It is not a secret that China wants to “integrate” Taiwan, and has threatened to do so militarily. The U.S. has already taken several steps to improve ties with Taiwan and to strengthen Taiwan’s military.
  • Increase “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.
  • Recognize Taiwan diplomatically and cut ties with mainland China.

There are undoubtedly many, many more things that can be done to pressure China short of any kind of military confrontation. Granted, all of these things come with some cost to Western countries, and none of them may force China to back down, but they will make China pay dearly for oppressing Hong Kong.

The leadership in Beijing is dogmatic and totalitarian, but it isn’t stupid. They will do the calculus and decide which is more costly – some freedom for Hong Kong versus loss of face internationally, internal dissension, and loss of business with the West. If Western countries can unite in support for HK, they can exert enormous pressure on Beijing. Hopefully, Beijing will see that freedom for Hong Kong is the better path forward.

This post was adapted from the author’s comment on the PJ Media article.

Taiwan Hosts TEDx Weekend

Taiwan President Tsa Ing-wen posted this:

It appears that Taiwan is working hard to improve its image and standing in the world. This is good news, and we urge the countries of the world to stand up to China’s bullying and support Taiwan.

Recently, we ran across this very interesting article by J. Michael Cole at the Taiwan Sentinel. Since 1949, when the Nationalist Party fled to Taiwan after being defeated by the communists, it has been Taiwan’s (the Republic of China’s) official policy that it is the legitimate government of all of China. In fact, that policy is enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of China. On the other hand, the CCP continues to insist that Taiwan is part of China, and does not recognize the Republic of China as the government of Taiwan. However, under the presidency of Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan has recognized the fact that the CCP controls the mainland as the People’s Republic of China.

Is there a path forward? Cole argues:

The next step, therefore, is for Taiwan to openly declare its amenability to dual recognition, an option which it could propose to the handful of states that are currently rumored to be exploring the possibility of re-establishing official ties with Taiwan.

J. Michael Cole in The Taiwan Sentinel

Here, “dual recognition” would allow the government of a country to recognize both the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatically. Thus far, neither the PRC nor the ROC have allowed that. Especially, countries that want to maintain a diplomatic relationship with Beijing have not been allowed (by Beijing) to have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan. As Cole says,

No doubt, Beijing will continue to play the zero-sum game and vehemently deny the possibility that “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” can co-exist, but by ceasing to play that zero-sum game, Taipei would make it clear that the impediment to a peaceful resolution to the dispute in the Taiwan Strait lies with Beijing, not Taipei. The ball, the impediment to peace, would thereby be fully in Beijing’s camp.

J. Michael Cole in The Taiwan Sentinel

We agree with Cole. Taiwan should change its policies to allow dual recognition. In addition, because Taiwan has a free and open democratic government deserving of support, other democratic countries should stand up to Beijing’s intransigence and bullying and recognize Taiwan.

U.S. Sells F-16 Fighters to Taiwan

Taiwan News is reporting that President Trump has approved the sale of 66 F-16V fighters to Taiwan, and that the U.S. Congress will approve the $8 billon deal.

F-16 Falcon fighter (

This deal will undoubtedly upset Beijing, which is already under pressure from a slowing economy, the trade war with the U.S. and the protests in Hong Kong. Along with recent sales of the advanced F-35 Lightning 2 fighters to Japan and Korea, the improved capability for Taiwan’s military enabled by the F-16 sales just adds to Beijing’s problems.

Tsai Ing-Wen: Hong Kong Must Address Protesters’ “Aspirations for Democracy”

Tsai Ing-Wen (President of Taiwan) tweeted this:

She is absolutely right. Violence by Beijing and Hong Kong’s government will not solve the problem over the long term. China must negotiate in good faith, and be willing to make concessions and guaranties of autonomy and freedom that the people of Hong Kong want and are fighting for.

The Hill Opinion: China’s worst fears: Hong Kong, Taiwan and any other democracy

The Hill opinion piece by Seth Cropsey:

If semi-autonomous, democratic-capitalist Hong Kong frightens China’s President Xi Jinping and his inner circle, the prospect of a fully independent, democratic-capitalist Taiwan — just 81 miles off the Chinese coast — must terrify them.

Seth Cropsey in The Hill

It’s long , but definitely worth reading.

CGTN Blames U.S. and Taiwan for HK Protests, Warns of Dire Economic Consequences

In an broadcast panel interview, CGTN (the CCP, in actuality) blames everyone but China’s own oppressive government for the continuing protests in Hong Kong. The panel actually says that the protesters are being trained by the CIA and that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being sent from Taiwan to support the protesters. They say there is “anecdotal evidence,” meaning, of course, that the “evidence” is just fictional propaganda produced by the Beijing and HK governments. No real evidence is provided (of course). The panel discussion is in English.

Taiwan News Opinion: China’s disregard for HK freedoms shows why Taiwan must take a stand

Taiwan News writer David Spencer, in an opinion piece posted August 3rd, argues that Beijing’s handling of the Hong Kong protests show that Taiwan must not give in to pressure from Beijing to re-unite.

It is perfectly possible that the CCP will resort to sending the ironically-named People’s Liberation Army onto the streets to suppress the people. This action could easily lead to another Tiananmen Square with serious blood being spilt on the streets of Hong Kong.
The CCP will want to avoid this and the inevitable international backlash that will follow. But with protestors showing no sign of backing down, there is a growing feeling that this is the moment when Hong Kong’s freedom movement will either succeed or die trying.
This moment could be the endgame for Hong Kong and the notion of “One Country, Two Systems.”

David Spencer in Taiwan News

Definitely read the whole article.

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