Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Miles Yu On Taiwan: Why is China so obsessed with Taiwan?

As Russia’s war on Ukraine grinds on into its second year, it continues to generate headlines as the largest land war in Europe since 1945. Yet 5,000 miles away, at the opposite end of the Eurasian land mass, a different conflict lies poised to ignite, kindled by another large country’s distortion of a shared cultural and ethnolinguistic heritage to threaten a smaller neighbor’s sovereignty.

Many headlines have also been written on the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to isolate and strangle the small but defiant democracy on the island of Taiwan. Yet many of these analyses fail to locate the sources of China’s obsession with its neighbor to the southeast. Any effort to neutralize Chinese aggression must begin with one question: why is China so obsessed with subduing a tiny nation of only 23 million people? Examining this question reveals four key motivators animating Beijing’s mania.


Seoul does transitional justice right

On May 18, 1980, students in Gwangju, South Korea, rallied against martial law. The Gwangju Uprising was soon suppressed, as then-South Korean general Chun Doo-hwan sent in troops to crush the protests. Consequently, 154 people were killed, 70 people disappeared and 3,028 were injured.

Fortunately, thanks to photographs taken by German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter, the world learned the truth. After Chun became South Korean president later that year, the uprising was defined as a rebellion instigated by communists and their sympathizers.


Ma visit paves way for annexation

At first glance, former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) seems to be a step to “ensure peace and avoid war.”

However, Ma’s speeches during the trip regarding the “one China” narrative help justify China’s military expansionism and put Taiwan at risk. Ma provides the PRC with a political discourse to rationalize an invasion of Taiwan, which resembles the rhetoric applied by Nazi Germany on the annexation of Austria and Russian President Vladimir Putin on invading Ukraine.


Tsai, McCarthy reaffirm partnership

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy reaffirmed the strong partnership between Taiwan and the US, and their commitment to safeguarding regional stability, following their meeting in California on Wednesday.

“I believe our bond is stronger now than at any time or point in my lifetime,” McCarthy told a joint news conference with Tsai following a two-hour closed-door meeting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.


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China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System is pictured in an undated photograph.
Screengrab from the Internet

China’s Beidou Satellite System (北斗衛星) poses an information security risk to Taiwan in that the satellite is able to track smartphone users via embedded malware in devices with Chinese-manufactured chips directly tied into the system or phones manufactured in China, according to the latest mobile device security report that the Ministry of Science and Technology submitted to the Legislative Yuan.