TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Under increasing pressure from the Chinese government, Taiwan’s plight has continued to draw the attention of international media, with scholars and foreign policy experts continually delivering criticisms of China’s behavior and commentaries on Taiwan’s cross-strait strategies.
An op-ed in Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun says that China has suppressed dissenting voices from Taiwan for so long that even if its “One County, Two Systems” arrangement is achieved, it will never obtain credibility internationally.
Xi Jinping promised that China would implement the arrangement for its “Taiwan compatriots” following a “peaceful unification” in his new year address on Jan. 2 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a message delivered to the R.O.C. about recommencing relations.
The article warns Xi’s promise of a “peaceful unification” should not be taken at face value, and as the totalitarian nature of Beijing’s governance grows, so does the likelihood the Communist Party leader would deviate from his promise. It cites the current suppression of democracy and freedom of speech in Hong Kong as an example.
A bi-party consensus now exists on cross-strait relations, the commentary notes, so even if Xi Jinping were able to strengthen China’s influence over Taiwan’s general population and create social division prior to the 2020 elections, it would be impossible for an entirely pro-China, pro-unification leader to come to power.
The writer argues the U.S. should be more forthright with its support for Taiwan in order to counterbalance China’s power and ensure the safety and stability of the East Asian region.