Editorial: Taiwan for status quo, China should respect that

Editorial: Taiwan for status quo, China should respect that

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 10:36 PM IST
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The recent elections in Taiwan can provide little comfort to China. Lai Chiang-te, the presidential candidate of the pro-independence ruling Democratic Party, emerged the winner. This is the third straight win for the DPP in the presidential race. China was vehemently against Lai winning, though his winning margin was rather small. The DPP, however, lost the parliamentary vote. A new party, the Taiwan’s People’s Party, did well, winning 26% of the vote while the Opposition Kuomintang party polled 33% of the popular vote. The Chinese government has sought to draw solace from the fact that DPP had polled fewer votes than before. Lai said the result showed the Taiwanese people’s commitment to democracy, and a transparent society which respects human rights. In the backdrop heightened tensions in the Taiwan Straits, with China raising the ante with daily threats of use of force to annex Taiwan, the mandate clearly is for the status quo. A majority of Taiwanese are reconciled to the “one country, two systems” formula, though after China violated its solemn commitment to grab Hong Kong there is genuine fear that it may forcibly take over Taiwan as well. In recent years, China has taken to conducting military drills on land, air and sea to intimidate Taiwan. On its part, the US-led Western alliance is committed to uphold Taiwan’s current status as a fully self-governed country, though lacking the legal status of a sovereign state. India too in recent years has come closer to the western view of Taiwan, respecting its self-ruled status without any interference from Beijing. As an economic powerhouse, Taiwan supplies more than half of the specialist semiconductors and over 90% of the advanced logic chips to the world. Even China imports these from Taiwan. China needs to respect the mandate of the people in Taiwan.

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