Denmark supports China’s ambitions

    Posted on: 2014-08-17 (台灣) 出版

Denmark supports China’s ambitions

China’s more aggressive behavior in Asia, makes it more difficult to argue for China’s peaceful intentions. This does not stop the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to encourage China to territorial claims and Danish academics to play down China’s troubling behavior in Asia. If we want to avoid that China is going to be the next international challenge, we must have the courage to stand by our values while reaching out for cooperation.

By Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwan Corner

First published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on August 11. 2014, translated by Taiwan Corner

China’s more aggressive behavior in Asia, makes it more difficult to argue for China’s peaceful intentions. This does not stop the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to encourage China to territorial claims and Danish academics to play down China’s troubling behavior in Asia.

In the East China Sea, China has set up an air defense zone, which stretches over Japanese-administered islands. In the South China Sea, China makes claim two-thirds of the sea area and threatens fishermen from several countries. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also claim the area, and the conflict will not diminish after China drilled after oil near Vietnam which resulted in strong anti-Chinese reactions.

A study by the independent American think tank Pew Research Center shows that the vast majority in South Korea, Japan and the Philippines are very concerned about China. Moreover, several Asian countries are looking towards the United States for military protection.

Denmark seems unconcerned and prefers to encourage China to further territorial claims by categorizing Taiwan as a part of China. Denmark has not asked Taiwan’s 23 million people living in one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues anyway to show Taiwan as part of China on a map at the ministry’s website.

Weak replies

Politicians from the Danish Liberal Party and the governing Social Democratic Party, parties that normally promote self-determination and democracy, are providing empty answers. It is alarming that Denmark can give the Taiwanese democracy to an authoritarian country like China. Normal practice is simply to state that Denmark recognizes China and does not recognize Taiwan.

If we look at the academic world, we see several Danish academics that downplay China’s behavior. ThinkChina.dk at University of Copenhagen aims to increase cooperation and dialogue between China and Denmark. The silent acceptance of China’s methods reveals itself at ThinkChina.dk’s blog, where leading academics write posts that characterize other commentators of China as very black and white in their portrayal of China.

It is unclear who ThinkChina.dk refers to, but their recipe for a solution is to continue the dialogue that we have had since the middle of 1990s without any significant results in terms of improvement in the fundamental human rights and democracy in China. They also leaves the impression that we should not be worried about China’s significant military buildup, this year 12.2 per cent, because China is not over spending on the military.

If we want to avoid that China is going to be the next international challenge, we must have the courage to stand by our values while reaching out for cooperation.