Warming to China at cost of US friendship ‘the height of folly for Taiwanese leader’: US media

The Washington Free Beacon warns against electing pro-China candidates in 2020 presidential election

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Han Kuo-yu (left) and Ko Wen-je (Photo/Han's FB and TCG website)

Han Kuo-yu (left) and Ko Wen-je (Photo/Han's FB and TCG website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In an opinion piece published on April 10, The Washington Free Beacon argued that there are two possible presidential candidates in Taiwan who are "dangerously pro-Chinese," and it would be unwise for Taiwanese leaders to embrace closer ties with Beijing.

"It would be the height of folly for a Taiwanese leader to believe that China is a friend, let alone family, and therefore warm to Beijing at the expense of the island's friendship with the United States," wrote the commentary, titled "Why Taiwan’s Presidential Election Is so Crucial."

Citing the remarks by the independent mayor of Taipei Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family," the article reckoned that Ko has strived to avoid criticizing China and seemed to project Taiwan as a "helpless victim" confronted by Chinese aggression.

Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the member of KMT who is mulling a presidential run and who recently visited Hong Kong and met Chinese officials during his controversial trip, has also been seeking to forge friendly ties with China. Han has depicted Taiwan and China as partners in an arranged marriage, who had "fallen madly in love," said the commentary.

The article blasted Han for failing to acknowledge the fact that the people of Taiwan yearn for sovereignty, and China has not renounced the use of force to compel unification.

The one who wins the presidency of Taiwan will significantly affect the island’s relationship with Beijing, and that the victory of a pro-China candidate will only “embolden Chinese leaders, not mollify them,” as China ramps up pressure against Taiwan, the commentary contended.

"Appeasement never works against imperial, expansionist, and murderous regimes," the article asserted, adding that it will be easier for China to jeopardize the island's sovereignty and bring it under the Chinese Communist Party's authoritarian rule if Taiwan succumbs to Beijing's will.