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AsiaGlobal Voices

Trending Opinions From Across the Region

AsiaGlobal Voices is a curated feed of summaries of opinion articles, columns and editorials published in local languages in media from across Asia.

The publication of AsiaGlobal Voices summaries does not indicate any endorsement by the Asia Global Institute or AsiaGlobal Online of the opinions expressed in them.
Biden Administration Statement Reverts To The Old One-China Framework
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Biden Administration Statement Reverts To The Old One-China Framework

Song Cheng-en, doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford, in The Storm Media (January 28, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: stingrayschuller)

Biden Administration Statement Reverts To The Old One-China Framework

Not long after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, Beijing dispatched military jets into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone. This provocation was seen as not only a military exercise but as a political test for the new administration. The US State Department responded by condemning China for threatening regional peace and stability.

The statement noted Chinese attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan, and called on Beijing to “cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives”. The US reaffirmed that it would stand with its friends and allies in the Indo-Pacific to promote mutual prosperity, security and values, including deepening relations with democratic Taiwan.

This statement was both soft and tough, maintaining the Trump administration's strong tone, while demonstrating the continuity of US foreign policy. The wording, however, suggested that Washington intends to bring its Taiwan policy back to the framework of the past:

First, the use the "People's Republic of China" (PRC) to refer to China is in line with the position established in “Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” between the United States and China in 1979. Second, the use of "Taiwan" throughout the text complies with the unofficial policies under the "Taiwan Relations Act". Third, the use of the phrase "Taiwan's democratically elected representatives" deliberately avoids mentioning the Taiwan government, president or officials.

It is impossible to judge the direction of the Biden administration’s Taiwan policy with a single statement and whether the US government returns to the One-China framework will ultimately depend on the government’s own interpretation. Nevertheless, close attention must be paid to how Taiwan’s status is supported or hindered by US policy.


The Government Should Take Responsibility For Pandemic Protocol Violations
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
The Government Should Take Responsibility For Pandemic Protocol Violations

Lin Jin-chia, psychiatrist, in The Storm Media (December 25, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: 國禎 吳)

The Government Should Take Responsibility For Pandemic Protocol Violations

A New Zealander pilot who broke Taiwan’s long streak with zero confirmed Covid-19 cases has become a public enemy and the focus of intense media criticism. The stock market even plummeted.

This pilot, who works for Taiwan carrier EVA Air, reportedly did not comply with the Covid-19 regulations of the flight crew by not wearing a mask or reporting respiratory symptoms at the end of his flight. As a result, he only had to undergo a short three-day home quarantine. Following this, he reportedly went out without wearing a mask. This negligence and violations of health-management protocols are a major breach in Taiwan’s epidemic-prevention efforts.

There has been limited evidence that EVA intends to act to ensure that such incidents do not occur again. Meanwhile, the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) has stated that the airline’s Covid-10 measures are a matter for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Aviation Administration (CAA). Yet, epidemic control is clearly not within their expertise. Since the CECC exists for this purpose, they should take greater responsibility.

The CAA has stipulated that the airlines are responsible for managing themselves and crews are supposed to follow regulations without supervision. Arguably, cabin crew face high levels of risk, perhaps even higher than medical staff. After being questioned by legislators, the CAA revealed that since the pandemic began, airline crews had committed 24 violations of regulations and only after this breach did the CAA meet with the airline industry to request that they develop a penalty mechanism.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Taiwan government has always adopted a tough public stance. They have, however, shamelessly refused to take responsibility for this incident and continue to avoid answering questions. This attitude is detrimental to Taiwan's overall epidemic prevention.


With Hopes For Reconciliation Fading, Face The Prospect Of Conflict
Thursday, April 8, 2021
With Hopes For Reconciliation Fading, Face The Prospect Of Conflict

Lin Yu-fang, a convenor of the National Policy Foundation, in China Times (February 27, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Rutger van der Maar)

With Hopes For Reconciliation Fading, Face The Prospect Of Conflict

In the minds of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders, the cross-strait confrontation is an unending civil war. As Macau and Hong Kong have successively been "returned", Taiwan has become the next "territory" that must be reclaimed. Over the years, the CCP has continued to dedicate huge defense budgets in pursuit of military modernization, bolstering its influence on the regional and international political arena while preparing for an invasion of Taiwan.

Beijing does not believe that the US military will rush into a war in the Taiwan Strait. The United States and Taiwan have no diplomatic relations, let alone a formal alliance. From the CCP’s point of view, the "Taiwan Relations Act" only guarantees that the US will continue to provide defensive weapons to Taiwan and does not promise any assistance in combat. Beijing also does not seem to believe that the United States dares to break the tacit understanding of power politics – that two nuclear-armed nations would not fight each other so as to avoid a nuclear war.

After the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) returned to power in 2016, Beijing has become more dissatisfied with Taiwan. It has not only blocked Taiwan diplomatically, but continues to oppress it militarily. At the end of 2016, Chinese military aircraft began frequently entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. Chinese warships have also crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait.

To counter these incursions, the defense ministry announced on October 5, 2020, that a total of 4,132 "air combat patrols" had been dispatched during the year, and the Air Force had spent NT$4.1 billion (US$144.2 million) in associated costs. These actions not only deepen mutual hostility but also increase the possibility of conflict. Perhaps it is time to face the possibility of armed conflict in the Taiwan Strait.


Universities Should Work With The Military To Nurture Talent
Monday, March 8, 2021
Universities Should Work With The Military To Nurture Talent

Cheng Ying-yao, President, National Sun Yat-sen University, in Liberty Times (December 11, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: See-ming Lee)

Universities Should Work With The Military To Nurture Talent

Chinese military aircraft have threatened Taiwan in recent months. President Tsai Ing-wen said in a speech that Taiwan's future will depend on regional peace and stability. Only by improving Taiwan’s defence capabilities can the threat of war be reduced and its security guaranteed.

Amid this tense situation, universities have not only a social function. They should contribute to Taiwan’s security by injecting their academic resources to enhance the research capacity for defense technology innovation and support the cultivation of defense strategy.

In the past, the majority of Taiwan’s defense technology and military talent have relied on the military academies. Considering the current global geopolitical situation, research universities should cooperate with the military academies to nurture high-quality talent. In the US, for example, leading universities such as Harvard and Yale have produced many top military officers.

National Sun Yat-sen University signed a contract with the defense ministry to establish a program to support the sharing and integration of teaching resources between the military and the University’s academies. Top universities should bear the responsibility of safeguarding Taiwan’s security, while good men and women should serve as soldiers.


The Freedom To Choose Not To Consume
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
The Freedom To Choose Not To Consume

James Wang, senior journalist, in Liberty Times (December 1, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Jason Goh/Pixabay)

The Freedom To Choose Not To Consume

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, which ruled Taiwan under martial law for nearly four decades, continues to produce the most absurd political performances at the most inappropriate of occasions. Instead of behaving maturely under a democracy, they chose to humiliate themselves by throwing pig guts in the parliament to raise the issue of food safety and to protest the government’s decision to allow meat imports from the US. The KMT continue to prove themselves completely incapable of adapting to Taiwan's democracy. Their political judgment remains inferior.

Taiwan is small, and its economic development depends on foreign trade which must comply with international rules. While the government has the responsibility to ensure the safety of food and meet global standards, in a free market, the consumer should ultimately have the freedom to choose what food they wish to consume. In a free market, nobody can force you to consume anything.

American meat will be imported in compliance with international food safety standards. The KMT consistently exaggerates and more and more behaves inappropriately in depriving Taiwan consumers of the right to choose. The KMT want to dictate whether Taiwan people can consume American produce or not.


The Government Must Guarantee the Freedom to Criticize the Ruling Party
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
The Government Must Guarantee the Freedom to Criticize the Ruling Party

Chen Fu, professor and Director of the General Education Center at National Dong Hwa University, in China Times (December 30, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Solomon203)

The Government Must Guarantee the Freedom to Criticize the Ruling Party

Yazhou Zhoukan (“Asia Weekly”) is a Hong Kong-based magazine read by Chinese intellectuals all over the world. While mainland authorities have banned subscriptions, it has always taken a middle path approach, respecting the “one country, two systems” principle, even with the challenging political situation in Hong Kong. It has tried to present both points of view on cross-strait issues.

The latest issue has generated controversy as it depicts Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in royal garb from the Qin Dynasty, smiling on a throne, with her administration characterized as a “dictatorship”. This has prompted a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman to claim that the publication is a mouthpiece for the Beijing government. Is this claim true?

Yazhou Zhoukan uses the words "Republic of China" in news reports without quotation marks. This alone shows that the mainland authorities respect Hong Kong’s freedom of speech and press. The DPP, however, continues to claim that the media is actively suppressing Hong Kong’s freedom and democracy. Ironically, in the latest issue, Yazhou Zhoukan interviews DPP politicians to discuss Tsai’s governance. Yet it is considered pro-Communist. 

Under the more-and-more restricted political environment in Taiwan, criticizing the government has become dangerous. As a result, most intellectuals have been silenced. Not only has the Chung T’ien Television News channel been shut down, but from February 1 this year, the publishing of books authorized by mainland publishers will first need to be approved by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture. The DPP cannot allow people in Taiwan the freedom to criticize only the Communist Party of China. They must also guarantee the freedom to criticize the DPP. 


Biden’s Win Was a Response to Trends in Sino-US Relations
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Biden’s Win Was a Response to Trends in Sino-US Relations

Chao Chun-shan, Honorary Professor at the Graduate Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University, in My Formosa (November 9, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Victoria Pickering)

Biden’s Win Was a Response to Trends in Sino-US Relations

While US President-elect Joe Biden's first priority on taking office will be to address the divisions in American society, he will also need to make changes in foreign policy. 

It is unrealistic to expect Biden to return to Barack Obama’s policy of engagement with China. Biden’s key diplomatic strategist and nominee to be secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has openly acknowledged that China presents new challenges and that the status quo is unsustainable. Nevertheless, Biden's China advisers generally oppose the so-called "new Cold War" and "decoupling" from China. While Biden’s team will need to focus immediately on Covid-19 and emerging economic problems, both tasks will require contact and potentially cooperation with China.

Biden's past statements offer some clues on what his cross-strait policy could look like. After the severance of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the United States in 1979, the then-senator was one of the initiators of the Taiwan Relations Act. But in 1999, he strongly opposed the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act on the grounds that formal military communications would risk provoking China. As such, Biden’s policy may not differ significantly from Trump’s. Furthermore, while Sino-US relations are likely to become more predictable after Biden takes office, the Chinese Communist Party’s objective of achieving reunification is unlikely to change.  

Some people in Taiwan had been choosing sides in the US election. This is futile and the government should refrain from doing this. Diplomacy is about forging good relations so it is natural to focus diplomatic work on the ruling party. The existence of opposition parties, however, should be considered in relations with other democracies. Both the ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan must put Taiwan’s interests first rather than using elections elsewhere as a reason to argue.


Caution Required: Economic Cooperation with the US may Create Dependency
Friday, September 25, 2020
Caution Required: Economic Cooperation with the US may Create Dependency

Ko Yu-chih, Associate Professor, Department of Diplomacy, National Chengchi University, in China Times (September 24, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Wang Yu-ching/Office of the President, Taiwan)

Caution Required: Economic Cooperation with the US may Create Dependency

On August 9, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar led a delegation to Taiwan. On September 17, a delegation led by Keith Krach, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, arrived in Taipei. The results of the two visits were mixed. Azar and Krach are the highest-ranking US officials to visit Taiwan since 1979. While Azar’s visit was open and formal, Krach’s was low-key and informal. This raises questions over the true intentions of the US.

The Azar delegation not only met President Tsai Ing-wen, but they also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). Meanwhile, the Krach delegation’s itinerary was not confirmed publicly beforehand and the format minimized intergovernmental meetings.

Azar’s delegation visited to discuss Covid-19 and public health cooperation, while Krach’s delegation was engaged in “funeral diplomacy”, attending the memorial service of former president Lee Teng-hui. The subsequent exchanges with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on US-Taiwan economic cooperation took place on the sidelines.

The two delegations will provide a boost to the current government, given that Taiwan’s international recognition has been gradually reduced. The excessively low-key nature of the Krach delegation, however, highlights the caution of US diplomats in deepening economic relations and suggests that the Washington has no desire in provoking Beijing.

While Azar’s delegation signed a MoU, it did not cover vaccine cooperation, an area to which Taiwan is eager to contribute. Meanwhile, Krach’s delegation was particularly interested in Taiwan's screening of foreign investments. This could end up dragging Taiwan into the Sino-US trade war or giving the US the right to intervene in Taiwan’s investment review processes. The government must be cautious as this could ultimately make Taiwan more dependent on the US. 


Does Taiwan Still Need the Kuomintang?
Friday, September 18, 2020
Does Taiwan Still Need the Kuomintang?

Lee Min-yung, poet and social critic, in Liberty Times (September 16, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Does Taiwan Still Need the Kuomintang?

The stated goal and mission of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, or KMT) no longer exists. The KMT wants to fight on behalf of the People's Republic of China and give them the authority to rule Taiwan. On the other hand, the goal of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and some other Taiwanese parties is to establish Taiwan as a separate entity from the People’s Republic of China. While the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) used to be enemies who wanted to destroy each other, now they are allies. Today, the main enemy of the KMT is not the CCP but the ruling party in Taiwan, the DPP.

In the 1950s, the KMT was centered on Chiang Kai-shek who used martial law and white terror to deal with dissidents. Not only those involved in communism, but also those who reformed and defended Taiwan were persecuted. In 1971, due to the self-serving nature of the KMT, the Republic of China was officially expelled from the United Nations and replaced by People's Republic of China. As a result, any protection over Taiwan's national status was immediately lost. 

The KMT now views Taiwan as a bargaining chip and supports its absorption by the CCP. However, after the lifting of the martial law and democratization, the Taiwan people who have left the KMT, including the descendants of post-war immigrants, have spurned the KMT’s desire to sell off Taiwan. The peaceful revolutions carried out through elections has gradually shaped a new distinct Taiwan. Considering these developments, does Taiwan still need the KMT?


Finding a Balance with the US and the Mainland
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Finding a Balance with the US and the Mainland

Ko Yu-chih, Associate Professor, Department of Diplomacy, National Chengchi University, in China Times (September 12, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Office of the President, Taiwan)

Finding a Balance with the US and the Mainland

During the Cold War, Taiwan was seen to be abandoned by the US when Washington was forced into having relations with just one side of the Strait. With the possibility of a new Cold War between the US and China, Taiwan is now being made to choose a side and is leaning towards the US. The possibility of the US abandoning Taiwan again cannot be ruled out, however.

After President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016, the continued decline in cross-strait relations has resulted in Taiwan kowtowing to the US. In the long run, Taiwan must be committed to building a balanced trilateral relationship. This, as Johnny Chiang, the chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) has stated, is the only option in line with Taiwan’s best interests.

Achieving balance is not an easy task. It requires not only the right time, the right place, and the harmony of people but also meticulous diplomacy. Mutual trust and respect mutual are the only way to avoid war. Maintaining peace across the Strait, amid declining Sino-US relations, is therefore an important goal that should transcend partisanship and that officials and civilians on both sides of the Strait should work together towards.

As the confrontation between Beijing and Washington increases, the security of the Taiwan Strait is more at risk. To reverse the downward spiral towards conflict and avoid a Cold War, cross-strait exchanges and dialogue must increase. He proposed to continue engagements to resolve the current differences in understanding between the two sides towards the "1992 Consensus". This will allow the two sides to ease tensions and establish an environment conducive to maintaining peace.


The Friendliness of the Abe Administration
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The Friendliness of the Abe Administration

Ogasawara Yoshiyuki, Professor at the Institute of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, in Liberty Times (September 7, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Office of the President, Taiwan)

The Friendliness of the Abe Administration

The government of Abe Shinzo has been the friendliest Japanese government to Taiwan since the severance of diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Taipei in 1972. In the absence of formal ties, Prime Minister Abe and President Tsai Ing-wen regularly send encouraging messages to each other on Twitter – this alone is worthy of recognition.

One of the greatest achievements has been the Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement signed in 2013. As a result, territorial issues between Japan and Taiwan have faded and bilateral relations have improved. The Abe government has also been committed to promoting bilateral exchanges – albeit in a low-key manner – since this agreement. When Tsai Ing-wen was elected president in January 2016, Abe congratulated her publicly, and in 2017 the Japanese government renamed its de-facto embassy from the Japan-Taiwan Interchange Association to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association.

After 2017, however, the Abe administration’s relationship with Taiwan stagnated due to Taiwan’s continued restrictions of food imports from five prefectures surrounding Fukushima, where the nuclear disaster occurred in 2011. Meanwhile, Japan-China relations began to improve with Abe openly welcoming a visit from Xi Jinping to Japan. Nevertheless, the Abe administration has also moved to contain China.

Overall, the tremendous support given by the people of Taiwan people during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has helped to strengthen bilateral relations and also improve the attitude of Japanese society towards Taiwan. As a result, people-to-people exchanges have also become more frequent. While the Abe administration certainly contributed to improve in relations, it is even more important to acknowledge the hard work of many Japanese and Taiwan people who have continued to strive for deeper mutual understanding.


Don’t Get Too Excited About Czech-Taiwan Relations
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Don’t Get Too Excited About Czech-Taiwan Relations

Hsu Mien-sheng, Taiwan diplomat, in Storm Media Group (June 27, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: www.vystrcil.cz)

Don’t Get Too Excited About Czech-Taiwan Relations

Domestic media recently reported that the Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil plans to visit Taiwan. This will not only involve Czech-Taiwan relations but also cross-strait relations. If cross-strait relations are harmonious, exchanges with countries without diplomatic relations are relatively straightforward. Visa-free treatment for Taiwan citizens in the European Schengen countries was achieved under harmonious cross-strait relations. Today, ties are tense and Taipei’s exchanges with countries with which it has no diplomatic relations will inevitably aggravate Beijing.

Vystrčil has been extremely friendly to Taiwan. Despite his lofty status, however, he is of relatively low political importance. Czech President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček all have discouraged the visit because of their concerns about the relationship between the Czech Republic and China. Beijing has reacted strongly, with the Chinese Embassy in Prague declaring that the visit is “blatant support for the separatist forces and activities in Taiwan, which seriously violate China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Many politicians from countries with no diplomatic relations have visited Taiwan over the years, but they have observed diplomatic practices and not announced it beforehand. There has been no incident and no trouble to any party. Diplomacy should be about doing more and talking less. It is necessary to respect the professional judgment of diplomats and act in the proper way to prevent incidents. In this case, Taiwan’s representative in the Czech Republic behaved inappropriately by not consulting other parties on the handling of this announcement.

While Taiwan should cherish its friendship with the Czech Republic, we must avoid getting too excited. It would be inappropriate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party to use this visit for publicity. While it was originally seen as a positive event, any negative consequences could be more costly that it is worth.


The Government’s Plans to Aid Hong Kong Citizens Raise Questions
Monday, June 22, 2020
The Government’s Plans to Aid Hong Kong Citizens Raise Questions

Tai Shih-yin, lawyer, in United Daily News (June 20, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Makoto Lin/Office of the President, Taiwan)

The Government’s Plans to Aid Hong Kong Citizens Raise Questions

The Mainland Affairs Council has finally announced a new “Humanitarian Aid and Care Action Plan” for Hong Kong citizens. There remains, however, a number of legal uncertainties about how it would work.

First, the legal basis of the action plan is both general and brief. The relevant provisions have not been updated since they were devised in 1997. Whether the existing legal basis can cope with the new relationship between Taiwan and Hong Kong is unclear. 

Second, once a draft “Refugee Law” is passed, the legal rights of Hong Kong people will be lower than that of foreigners or stateless people. From a macro perspective, Taiwan's assistance to Hong Kong people lacks comprehensive and clear legal protection.

Third, assistance is focused on “specific cases” through the Executive Yuan. This model inherently has the advantages of stricter scrutiny, adaptability to circumstances and the avoidance of wasted resources. In the absence of transparent and open supporting regulations, however, it will lack external supervision, and any administrative arbitrary decision making could affect the fairness of any assistance allocation.

Many more questions remain. For example, what is the definition and applicable eligibility criteria of the so-called “political reasons” in the aforementioned regulations? Are they limited to those prosecuted under the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law”? Will the same assistance be provided to suspected criminals who have also participated in violent resistance in Hong Kong? If a case's application for assistance is rejected, what are the procedures for legal remedy?

Without a sound foundation for the rule of law, is the action plan merely lip service?


Help Retirees who are Willing to Work Again
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Help Retirees who are Willing to Work Again

Hong De-sheng, Chairman, Taiwanese Association for Ageing Society (TAAS), in Storm Media Group (June 13, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

Help Retirees who are Willing to Work Again

Improvements in health and life expectancy have helped seniors become more active and socially engaged. According to an online survey by the Taiwanese Association for Ageing Society (TAAS), 88 percent of employed and retired people between the ages of 40 and 75 are willing to continue working after reaching retirement.

There are a number of reasons for this – 23 percent wish to utilize their expertise or interests, 23 percent want to improve their self-worth and increase social participation to keep the mind active and promote health, and 20 percent aim to maintain good physical strength and health. Among those who wish to work again, 46 percent prefer part-time working hours and 42 percent are flexible. Of the retirees who want to work again, 23 percent face barriers to attending an interview, while 15 percent have difficulty getting information on job opportunities because they lack digital access.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, by the end of 2019 there were more than 3.6 million elderly people (over 65 years old) in Taiwan, accounting for 15.28 percent of the total population. In addition to formulating laws and regulations on the employment of middle-aged and senior citizens, the government has encouraged all sectors to promote employment opportunities for them.

A special unit should be set up to facilitate the employment of the approximately 100,000 retirees in different industries. Information on geographical distribution, industry experience and expertise, and willingness to participate in certain activities can be collected through surveys and a digital platform. Supporting retiree participation in the industrial chain and people-centred sectors such as culture, tourism and education will not only improve the overall welfare of the elderly but will also help Taiwan become the next bright spot on the international stage.


The World is Awaking to the “Chinese Dream”
Friday, June 5, 2020
The World is Awaking to the “Chinese Dream”

Lee Min-yung, poet, in Liberty Times (June 3, 2020)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory

The World is Awaking to the “Chinese Dream”

In 1979, the United States formally established diplomatic relations with China and redefined its relationship with Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act. On June 4, 1989, tanks ploughed through protestors on Tiananmen Square, exposing the Communist Party of China's totalitarian and authoritarian nature. Yet the US still desired to support China's economic development in the hope that it would promote the development of democratic universal values. Neither the US nor the international community imposed sanctions on China.

China continued to attract foreign investment and efficiently transformed itself into the factory of the world. It used the idea of free capitalism to develop its own economy while promoting the concept of totalitarian socialism or “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. Meanwhile, Taiwan was cut off from the international community.

Through Hong Kong's struggles, the Wuhan virus and the aggressive stance of Beijing, the dreamers within the great powers have finally woken up. China’s forces have replaced the old Soviet Union and the essence of the empire has reappeared.

The Communist revolution originally aimed to promote social fairness and justice. Instead, China has become a paradise for private political ambitions. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has become rich but not for the benefit of its citizens or the world. The Cultural Revolution during the Mao Zedong era humiliated and killed many party members and many of the today’s CCP leadership are simply repeating history. Xi Jinping is mimicking Mao Zedong's authoritarian and totalitarian style, just like Hitler in Nazi Germany.

The Hong Kong version of the National Security Law is just a wake-up call. While the ravaging shadow of the Wuhan virus still affects many countries, the Chinese people can accurately understand the nature of the Communist regime. The rest of the world, however, is only just awakening to this reality.