Taiwan – China Relations

But even the Trump administration is willing to upgrade ties only so far, fearing Beijing’s wrath.

Date: 05/21/2020
By: Nahal Toosi and Lara Seligman

President Donald Trump himself has yet to publicly weigh in on the inauguration of Taiwan’s president for a second term this week. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

As Taiwan’s president was inaugurated for a second term this week, Trump administration officials had some choices to make: How do they congratulate her? Which U.S. official does what?

And, above all, how much do they stick it to the Beijing government in the process?

They ultimately went with a mix: A State Department official and a top White House aide sent video messages for the event, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opted for a written statement in advance and some public remarks afterward. The U.S. also announced a potential deal to sell torpedoes to the island, whose disputed political status has long been a fraught subject of U.S.-China relations.

But President Donald Trump himself has yet to publicly weigh in.

So far, the maneuvering has appeared to be aggressive enough to inspire both Taiwanese gratitude and Chinese rhetorical backlash; Beijing has threatened “necessary measures in response” to America’s expressions of congratulations. But — for now at least — the Trump team’s tactics also have been restrained enough to keep tensions from spiraling out of control.

The Trump administration’s approach to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s Wednesday inauguration in illustrative of its broader strategy toward an authoritarian government in Beijing that it views as a long-term threat to U.S. dominance: Push Chinese Communist Party leaders hard, but not to the point of diplomatic rupture or open warfare.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s WHO exclusion due to Chinese pressure puts global community at risk

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/05/22
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Keisuke Suzuki (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Keisuke Suzuki, on Thursday (May 21) pointed out Taiwan's importance to Japan's national security and said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should not be allowed to "ravage" Taiwan on the global stage.

In an article published on Livedoor Blog Thursday evening, Suzuki congratulated Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President William Lai (賴清德) for their inauguration and praised the country for demonstrating the spirit of democracy. He stressed that Taiwan shares a meaningful relationship with Japan and Taiwan's safety will determine the future of its neighboring countries.

Suzuki mentioned that Taiwan has been excluded from major international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), due to sustained pressure from the CCP. He said Chinese bullying of Taiwan and its frequent incursions into Japan's territorial waters have put the global community at risk, especially during a time of pandemic.

Referring to the WHO leadership as China-centric, the Japanese senior official emphasized that the international health body's refusal to acknowledge Taiwan and its pandemic prevention efforts have resulted in more lives lost than there should have been. He added that the WHO has put the CCP's political interests ahead of global health, instead of sharing useful information provided by Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

Former US official Randall Schriver says China's failed Taiwan policy is its own doing

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/05/22
By: Kelvin Chen, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former U.S. Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randy Schriver stated at

Co-founder of 2049 Project Institute Randall Schriver (Wikimedia Commons photo)
a seminar on Thursday (May 21) that Beijing’s policy toward Taiwan has failed and there was no desire for the “one country, two systems” framework for Taiwanese.

The Wilson Center, a Washington D.C. based think tank, held a video seminar on Thursday to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations during President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) second term and the evolution of Taiwan's role in the global order, CNA reported. Schriver, co-founder of the 2049 Project Institute, said the failure of China’s Taiwan policy was caused by Beijing.

It has wiped out support in Taiwan for a “one China” ideal with its “overly coercive” policies, he stated. He noted that polls show favorable sentiment toward China has fallen to a new low, while support for independence has never been higher.

He continued by saying that Beijing has attempted to squeeze Taiwan’s international space and snatch its diplomatic allies at every opportunity. However, the opposing attitudes of Taiwan and China during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic have gained Taiwan unprecedented international recognition, praise, and support.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei responded angrily to the WHO chief's assertion that 'racist slurs' against him originated in Taiwan.

Date: 10 Apr 2020

China has accused Taiwan of "venomously" attacking the World Health Organization (WHO), taking advantage of the current coronavirus crisis to seek independence, and conspiring with internet users to spread racist comments, after the WHO chief said a racist attack directed at him had come from the island.

Taiwan had responded angrily on Thursday to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus' assertion this week, and demanded he apologise, saying the accusations were "slander" and "extremely irresponsible".

Taiwan, which China claims for itself, is excluded from the WHO because of China's objections to its membership. 

The government has said this resulted in it being unable to get timely information, putting Taiwanese lives at risk. The WHO denies the allegation.

China says Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is seeking Taiwan's formal independence, but President Tsai Ing-wen says the island is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name.

Xi: Nobody can change fact Taiwan is part of China (2:34)

In a statement late on Thursday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office took aim at the "DPP authorities".

"The DPP authorities are unscrupulously using the virus to seek independence, venomously attacking the WHO and its responsible people, conniving with the green internet army to wantonly spread racist comments," it said. "We strongly condemn this."

Taiwan's justice ministry said on Friday that Twitter posts purporting to be from Taiwanese people apologising to Tedros for racist slurs were actually posted by people in mainland China.

"There is a concern it is a deliberate operation by overseas forces," the ministry's investigation bureau said.

"Falsely claiming to be Taiwanese and openly admitting to racist attacks on WHO Director General Tedros and begging forgiveness seriously damages our country's international reputation," it said in a statement. 

Taiwan has reported at least 380 cases of coronavirus to date, far lower than many of its neighbours thanks to early and effective prevention work. On Friday, it said a sixth patient died, an elderly person with underlying health conditions.    [FULL  STORY]

Date: January 13, 2020
By: James Griffiths

A supporter of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen displays a banner outside the campaign headquarters in Taipei on January 11, 2020.

Hong Kong (CNN)Speaking in 1995, a hundred years after Japan's seizure of Taiwan, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin said it was the "sacred mission and lofty goal of the entire Chinese people" to see the unification of the island with mainland China.

In Hong Kong two years later, Jiang oversaw the implementation of the model he said would achieve just that, "the great concept of 'one country, two systems'" — a process whereby the city would continue to maintain its distinct political and legal systems, while becoming part of a unified China.

On Saturday, Taiwan voted overwhelmingly to reject that model, reelecting President Tsai Ing-wen in a landslide. The campaign was dominated by fears of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a desire not to follow the path of Hong Kong — where "one country, two systems" looks shakier than ever in the wake of sometimes violent anti-government unrest.

Responding to Tsai's victory, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry said that "regardless of what happens in Taiwan, the basic facts won't change: there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China."    [FULL  STORY]

Date: January 13, 2020
By: Ben Blanchard, Yimou Lee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – His policies rejected by Taiwan voters in a landslide re-election for President Tsai Ing-wen, Chinese President Xi Jinping will most likely continue to tighten the screws on the island, with state media already floating shows of force.

China took center stage in the campaign after Xi sought in a major speech a year ago to get Taiwan to sign on to the same sort of “one country, two systems” model as Hong Kong.

Tsai immediately rejected the idea. Six months later, Hong Kong erupted in anti-government protests, giving a huge boost to Tsai in her efforts to portray China as an existential threat to Taiwan’s democracy and freedoms.

But rather than recognize that its pressure on Taiwan had failed, Beijing’s immediate reaction to the election was to double down on “one country, two systems” and say it would not change policy.

Illustration ties pro-democracy movement in Beijing in 1989 to 2019 Hong Kong protests

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/01/03
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAI6PEI (Taiwan News) — An illustration showing solidarity between Tiananmen Square and Hong Kong protesters has gained over 24,000 upvotes on the social media site Reddit since New Year's Eve.

On Dec. 31, Reddit user baylearn posted the illustration with the heading "Thirty years, and we’re still fighting the same fight, protecting the flame lit in Beijing three decades ago." Baylearn says that the image had originally been posted by an anonymous use on Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service, on Dec. 29.

In the illustration, a woman is shown wearing a yellow helmet and carrying a yellow umbrella, symbols of both the 2019 Hong Kong protests and the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Meanwhile, on the other side of a pane of glass cracked by a bullet hole, a woman wearing a headband that reads "Liberty" can be seen inking the words "Glory to H.K." in red, possibly blood.

In the foreground at the top of the image are Chinese characters that read "revolution era," with the year 2019 on the left and 1989 on the right. In the background on the left, a black flag of the 2019 Hong Kong protests can be seen waving, while on the right, a black and white banner reads in Chinese "Give me liberty, or give me death!"    [FULL  STORY]

Date: December 31, 2019
By: Yimou Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday the island would not accept a “one country, two systems” political formula Beijing has suggested could be used to unify the democratic island, saying such an arrangement had failed in Hong Kong.

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen talks during a graduation ceremony for the Investigation Bureau agents in New Taipei City, Taiwan, December 26 , 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang – RC2R2E9EIKIT

China claims Taiwan as its territory, to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name.

Tsai, who’s seeking re-election in a Jan. 11 vote, also vowed in a New Year’s speech to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, saying her government would build a mechanism to safeguard freedom and democracy as Beijing ramps up pressure on the island.

Fear of China has become a major element in the campaign, boosted by months of anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong.    [FULL  STORY]

Date: De5cember 30, 2019
By: Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – With just days to go before Taiwan’s elections, its giant neighbor is trying a push-and-pull strategy on the island Beijing claims as Chinese territory, rattling its saber while trying to coax electors with outwardly friendlier policies.Taiwan, which says it is an independent country, has long been wary of Chinese attempts to sway its elections in favor of candidates who may look more kindly upon Beijing.

FILE PHOTO: A banner is reflected on a polished surface as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Fear of China has become a major element in the campaign, boosted not only by the anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong but also by a speech Chinese President Xi Jinping gave in January outlining China’s “reunification” agenda, including threats of force.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her team are pressing home a message that people need to “protect” Taiwan from China when they vote in the Jan. 11 presidential and parliamentary election.

Following our earlier look ahead to 2020, four more commentators offer their predictions for the trends likely to impact the region in the year ahead

South China Morning Post
Date: 29 Dec, 2019
By: EZRA VOGEL, Professor emeritus at Harvard University

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi’s planned spring visit to Japan provides an opportunity to contain mutual hostility and expand relations. Photo: DPA

Unrest in Hong Kong, tensions between the United States and China over technology and trade, resurgent Hindu nationalism in India, and frictions in the South China Sea are just some of the issues that shaped Asia in 2019.Following our earlier look ahead to 2020, four more commentators, including the editor of This Week in Asia, offer their predictions for the trends likely to impact the region in the year ahead.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced he plans to visit Japan in 2020 when the “cherry blossoms bloom”. This will be the first visit by a Chinese leader to Japan since the 2008 to 2014 period, when relations between the two reached their lowest point since being normalised in 1972.Chinese attitudes towards Japan had grown worse in the 1990s. After the Tiananmen Square crackdown

 in 1989, the Chinese government launched a patriotic education campaign to gain the loyalty of Chinese youth. China produced many World War II movies featuring heroic Chinese fighting against vicious Japanese. In turn, Japanese became angry after they saw film clips of Chinese attacking Japanese-owned stores in China, and the Chinese military threatening the disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Nearly 90 per cent of the public in both countries viewed each other negatively.China and Japan should not see each other as a threat, says Xi24 Dec 2019

From 1895, when Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War, until 2008, Japan enjoyed the upper hand in relations with China. But in 2008, China began to pull ahead after the Lehman shock and the Beijing Olympics. In 2010, the World Bank announced that the size of the Chinese economy had surpassed Japan’s.    [FULL  STORY]