Taiwan turns to Japan for help in ‘defending shared values’

05-Mar-2019 Intellasia | Washington Examiner | 6:00 AM Print This Post

China has Taiwan in its crosshairs, the island’s president warned Saturday while appealing to Japan for diplomatic support.

“I’m determined to work with like-minded partners such as #Japan in defending shared values,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted Saturday morning. “We’re facing an onslaught of #Disinformation & #FakeNews aimed at undermining democracy. Today, Taiwan is in the crosshairs. Tomorrow, it will be another country.”

Tsai sent that message to elaborate on her recent interview with a Japanese media outlet, a conversation that provided a forum for her public appeal to Japan to help Taiwan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc. That would be a controversial request for Japan to support, given China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan and hostility to any countries that establish formal diplomatic relations with the island government in Taipei.

“Taiwan’s strategic location & high-tech industry leadership make it an indispensable stakeholder in the international economy,” Tsai tweeted, making her economic case while stressing the severity of the threat posed by China. “The global supply chain will be severely impacted if Taiwan is deleted. I call on all countries to recognise #Taiwan’s value to the #IndoPacific & world.”

China regards Taiwan, the last bastion of the government that was overthrown by Mao Zedong’s Communist revolutionaries in 1949, as a renegade province governed by separatist politicians. Beijing refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any country that recognises Taiwan as a sovereign island, using a high-profile combination of carrots and sticks to isolate the government from countries around the world.

The US doesn’t have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but still sells arms to the Taiwanese military and has engaged in public displays of support for Taipei. China has suggested that Taiwan might be able to have a “one country, two systems” status similar Hong Kong. Taiwan is refusing that offer, even as US officials worry about China exerting too much control over Hong Kong.

“In terms of global democratisation, #Taiwan is proof that democratic & economic development go hand in hand,” Tsai tweeted. “Our #IslandOfResilience is a force for good in the world & there’s no doubt #TaiwanCanHelp promote & safeguard freedom, democracy, shared values, and rules-based order.”



Category: Taiwan

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