By pounding on Hong Kong, Xi is losing Taiwan says a piece at The American Interest today.
But their stance on Hong Kong has already had a significant knock-on effect in another area of concern for China: Taiwan. Though Taiwan’s current president, Ma Ying-jeou, was seen as gingerly steering his country towards gradual and eventual unification with the mainland, recent events in Hong Kong have created a political consensus that reunification is just not going to work.Recent events did not create this consensus. Taiwanese have been anti-annexation for as long as there have been credible polls (preference for status quo always meant that, and now polls routinely show majority support for independence). Ma is just making noise -- everyone knows he wants to annex the island to China. Nevertheless, the main point is correct: the crackdown on Hong Kong is further strengthening Taiwan's desire to avoid annexation to China. Indeed, there were solidarity protests in Taiwan yesterday.
No, the real signal China is sending in its crackdown on Hong Kong is that it has given up any pretense that "one country, two systems" is meaningful. That is why China's president Xi reiterated it to Taiwan even as Beijing was preparing its response to its betrayal of its promises for Hong Kong: that reiteration in that context demonstrated its emptiness. It springs from the same well of sociopathology under which Beijing makes the families of executed individuals pay for their own bullets, or commits border infractions with a country it is negotiating with. Beijing knows perfectly well that 1C2S is unacceptable to Taiwan.
No, what we should be reading from this is that Xi is no longer trying to seriously put forth this policy. In that case, what will the real policy be? What else can it be but war....?
In a Le Figaro interview this week Ma said that he hopes to meet Xi of China in November. If so, it will be pure political theater, a distraction from all the pro-annexation moves he's made over the last seven years: ECFA, the tourism increases, the attempts to get Chinese labor over here, the indifference to Chinese overstaying visas in Taiwan, the tolerance for pro-annexation gang activity and gangsters, the drive to integrate Taiwan with China financially, and others. The international media will of course go apexit over it, ignoring all the really important stuff. But at present there's no hint that Ma will ever pay his respects to the Dragon Throne while President of the ROC.
- Apple Daily Hong Kong Live Feed
- Another roaring ECFA success: Chinese investment in Taiwan, already minuscule, falls 25%.
- Another splinter party is founded by activists. Yawn. If I had a nickel for every time I've seen this, I'd be vacationing in Tuscany every year.
- J Bosco: China's deadly miscalculation. Thinking it can win Taiwan without a fight.
- DPP's Tsai: Taiwan's future is for its people to decide
- About.com page Is Taiwan a Country? says US recognizes Taiwan as part of China. Contact Rosenberg to politely explain that this is wrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DO NOT MISS: Absolutely fascinating post on Paul Barclay's East Asia Image Collection blog on Japanese postcard imagery in contemporary Taiwan
- Carrie Kellenberger: Ten Things that Taiwan does right. Health care for sure, but temples? I'm not a fan of night markets either, they're all more or less the same.
- National Geographic on Taiwan's food scene.
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