HomeRelations with TaiwanAs Taiwan's Jan 13th Election Nears, China's Rhetoric, Propaganda and Provocations...

As Taiwan’s Jan 13th Election Nears, China’s Rhetoric, Propaganda and Provocations Intensify

Published on

spot_img

As Taiwan gears up for its presidential election on January 13th, China’s intensifying pressure tactics are casting a long shadow over the island’s democratic processes. The situation is increasingly tense, with Chinese ships and aircraft frequently breaching Taiwan’s territorial limits, a move seen as a direct challenge to Taiwan’s sovereignty and a significant escalation from previous norms.

Veterans like Hsu Keng-Jui, part of a volunteer network in Taiwan, are witnessing this escalation firsthand. They are tracking Chinese military movements just outside Taiwan’s borders, a task that has become a daily routine. The audacity of Chinese naval and air incursions is palpable, with Chinese forces boldly crossing the median line of the strait that has long served as an unofficial border between China and Taiwan.

This strategy, often referred to as “grey zone warfare,” is aimed at exhausting Taiwan’s defenses and intimidating its populace. It’s a tactic derived from ancient Chinese military strategy, designed to weaken the enemy without direct confrontation. In this context, the enemy is Taiwan’s government and its supporters, who favor permanent separation from China, and their allies in the United States and Japan.

The upcoming election in Taiwan is not just a local political event but a flashpoint in the broader cross-strait relations. Beijing’s disdain for Taiwan’s current president, Tsai Ing-wen, and her possible successor, William Lai, is evident. Lai, in particular, is viewed by Beijing as a hardline advocate for Taiwan’s formal independence. China’s message is clear: a vote for Lai is a vote for war. This sentiment is echoed by the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which traditionally favors closer ties with China.

However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters remain undeterred. Taiwan’s progressive stance on issues like LGBT rights, as exemplified by its legalization of same-sex marriage, the first in Asia, starkly contrasts with the political and social climate in China. This difference is a significant factor driving the resolve of DPP supporters to maintain Taiwan’s distinct identity.

But the election is about more than just cross-strait relations. Domestic issues such as rising costs, housing affordability, and economic opportunities are also at the forefront. The Taiwan People’s Party, with its candidate Ko Wen-je, offers a centrist alternative, appealing to those disillusioned with the traditional parties.

Taiwan’s military, meanwhile, is bearing the brunt of China’s grey zone tactics. The constant incursions are taking a toll on Taiwan’s air force, particularly its aging Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The disparity in military strength between China and Taiwan is stark, with China having a significantly larger and more modern air force.

As the election looms, it’s clear that the island is deeply divided not just politically but also in terms of its approach to China. While some advocate for dialogue and eventual reunification, others are prepared to defend Taiwan’s autonomy, even if it leads to conflict. This division reflects the complex web of historical, familial, and economic ties that link Taiwan to the mainland.

With the DPP likely to secure an unprecedented third consecutive presidential term, China’s influence operations are intensifying, targeting not only traditional KMT supporters but also the younger, unaffiliated voters through social media and other digital platforms. The long-term goal of these operations is to shift public opinion in Taiwan subtly, aligning it more closely with China’s interests.

In the backdrop of these elections, China’s President Xi Jinping has reiterated his commitment to the “reunification” of Taiwan with the mainland. This stance, coinciding with a crucial election in Taiwan, underscores the high stakes involved, not just for Taiwan and China but for the broader geopolitical landscape involving the United States and other global powers.

Taiwan’s election, therefore, is not just a test of its democratic resilience but also a referendum on its future as a nation, caught between its assertive giant neighbor and its own distinct democratic identity. The outcome will have far-reaching implications, not only for Taiwan’s domestic politics but also for the intricate balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.

Latest articles

AI: Atrocities Denied, Xi Lauded – Google Complicit with Chinese Propaganda Operations

In a disturbing investigation by Wenhao Ma and the Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin...

President Lai: China’s Priority is to Eliminate Taiwan

In a powerful speech at the 100th anniversary of the Whampoa Military Academy, Taiwanese...

Google Takes Down Chinese and Russian Influence Campaigns

Google has taken a strong stand against coordinated influence campaigns designed to manipulate public...

After 3 Years in a Chinese Jail, Cheng Lei’s Comedy Debut: Turning Adversity into Laughter

Cheng Lei, the Australian journalist who spent three years in a Chinese prison, recently...

More like this

AI: Atrocities Denied, Xi Lauded – Google Complicit with Chinese Propaganda Operations

In a disturbing investigation by Wenhao Ma and the Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin...

President Lai: China’s Priority is to Eliminate Taiwan

In a powerful speech at the 100th anniversary of the Whampoa Military Academy, Taiwanese...

Google Takes Down Chinese and Russian Influence Campaigns

Google has taken a strong stand against coordinated influence campaigns designed to manipulate public...