Threats against Taiwan

    Posted on: 2020-06-17

Threats against Taiwan

President Tsai talked about peace, parity, dialogue and democracy. In response, China decided to omit the accustomed annual reference to “peaceful reunification” in the government’s yearly work report. In China’s view, the situation in Hong Kong no longer helps attract Taiwan to adopt ‘One Country – Two Systems’ as a solution. Moreover, the Hong Kong protests serve only to destabilize and damage China’s influence in Taiwan’s domestic politics and hurts its international image. By getting control of Hong Kong, China can focus on taking Taiwan through economic pressure, or by force if necessary.










By Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwan Corner

In her inauguration speech in May, President Tsai talked about peace, parity, dialogue and democracy. In response, China decided to omit the accustomed annual reference to “peaceful reunification” in the government’s yearly work report. Later, it was mentioned at a news conference.

China’s saber-rattling is not new. China has never excluded the use of military means to capture Taiwan. This goes right back to the Nixon period in the United States and before. More recently, China’s preparedness to contemplate military force was made abundantly and explicitly clear in the Anti-Secession Law in 2005 and, again, in President Xi New Year’s address to Taiwan “compatriots” in 2019.

China’s other actions are a further cause for concern about its long- and short-term intentions. Recent developments in Hong Kong come on top of Chinese military activities close to Taiwan, the failure of the World Health Organization (WHO) to include Taiwan in the WHA, and they follow Chinese pressure on international companies to show Taiwan as a part of China.

In China’s view, the situation in Hong Kong no longer helps attract Taiwan to adopt ‘One Country – Two Systems’ as a solution. Moreover, the Hong Kong protests serve only to destabilize and damage China’s influence in Taiwan’s domestic politics and hurts its international image. By getting control of Hong Kong, China can focus on taking Taiwan through economic pressure, or by force if necessary.

Admiration is not enough

The world embraced and admired Taiwan in the initial stages of COVID-19 while China increased pressure on the Taiwanese. Despite this, the USA, the EU and other nations failed the cause of natural justice completely by not allowing Taiwan to be a part of the World Health Assembly (WHA). If Taiwan is not welcome under the circumstances of a global pandemic against which it leads the way, when can it be?

We in Taiwan Corner support Taiwan’s right to become a member of all international organizations and support Taiwan’s right to self-determination. When we look at EU countries’ past and present support of Taiwan, we are not impressed. We want to say clearly that a continuation of previous policies is not helpful for the future against a background of increased Chinese pressure and the snuffing-out of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

In politics, results count. It is not enough any longer to speak up for Taiwan in the absence of concrete action. Though talk alone seems to be what many European politicians would prefer.

Considering the threats from China, we believe that EU countries should take concrete political steps. We suggest a very modest change of practice to

  1. Allow all levels of Taiwanese government officials to visit EU countries
  2. Allow all levels of European ministers to visit Taiwan
  3. Show clear progress in negotiations on an investment agreement between the EU and Taiwan
  4. Open up more direct flights between EU countries and Taiwan

None of these steps would breach the EU’s One China policy.

Taiwan, on the other hand, can make progress in Europe by abandoning its conservative traditional investment policies and encourage an increase in Taiwan’s direct investment in EU countries.