‘Bully next door’ will not decide the fate of Taiwan

China’s military intimidation can not stop next year’s elections and the Taiwanese ‘people’s’ right to vote

There is only one way to deal with China’s massive propaganda machine and “bullying” on the international stage. Tell the truth.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu did just that after Beijing launched extensive military exercises around the island democracy following Vice-President William Lai’s brief trip to the United States last week.

In a tweet on the recently rebranded X social media site, he drew attention to January’s presidential elections in Taiwan and Lau’s status as the leading candidate.

Hammering home his point, Wu said it was up to the Taiwanese people to decide, “not the bully next door.”

“Look, China should hold its own elections. I’m sure its people would be thrilled,” he added in a sprinkling of sarcasm since the ruling Communist Party of China has never been elected at the ballot box in free and fair elections.

David versus Goliath:

  • China’s President Xi Jinping has no mandate from the Chinese people. Let alone from the citizens of Taiwan.
  • Yet “Chairman of Everything” Xi has vowed to reunite the island with the mainland by force if necessary.
  • To date, the Party has gone on a massive military speeding spree with an annual budget close to US$700 billion in the past few years.

The drills displayed the PLA’s capability to control the region.

Global Times

Delve deeper: State-run Global Times spearheaded the vitriol, condemning “separatist forces” and reveling in the “combat readiness” of the People’s Liberation Army.

Between the lines: “The [weekend] drills displayed the PLA’s capability to completely control the region. The latest exercises show that secessionist attempts will never succeed and will only sabotage [the] peaceful future of the island,” Global Times stated.

Big picture: Hours earlier, American President Joe Biden held landmark talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol at Camp David, the US presidential retreat.  

What they said: “We reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity in the international community,” the mission statement stressed.

Why it matters: “China is not only aiming at Lai but also warning the US, Japan, and South Korea,” Lin Ying-Yu, of Taiwan’s Tamkang University, told Voice of America.

China Factor comment: Global Times branded the Camp David summit a “hypocritical anti-China pantomime.” Yet it appears no one is laughing in Beijing’s corridors of power.