US, Japan Stabbed Taiwan President Tsai in the Back by Hague RulingPosted: August 1, 2016
SCMP says in its report “Trouble in Taiwan: Hague ruling on Taiping Island gives Tsai her biggest headache” today, “Analysts say Taiwanese president has been stabbed in the back by US and Japan, two countries she had been relying on for support in row with Beijing”.
In the first two months Taiwan’s new president Tsai Ing-wen is unlucky to have lots of challenges including the flooding of Taiwan’s main international airport, flight attendants’ strike, a bus fire that killed 24 mainland tourists, etc. but the most tricky one is the Hague ruling made under US and Japan’s influence to contain China.
The ruling denies Taiwan’s right to its exclusive economic zone around its Taiping Island. SCMP says that Tsai immediately responded by flatly rejecting the ruling and sending a warship to patrol the zone Taiwan claims to protect Taiwan’s rights. However, the US and Japan have called on all claimants including Taiwan to respect the ruling and avoid intensifying the tensions in the South China Sea, which Taiwan is certainly doing by sending its warship to patrol disputed area.
US and Japan are thus humiliating Taiwan but Tsai has remained silent to US and Japan’s calls. She has been criticized by Taiwanese politicians and media for kowtow to the US.
Tsai has been under great pressure from Beijing urging her to recognize the one-China “1992 consensus” to ensure that she does not advocate Taiwan independence, which the US and Japan support though dare not make their support public for fear of incurring Beijing’s anger.
US and Japan’s move has upset Taiwanese people and even politicians of Tsai’s pro-independence party.
SCMP quotes Julian Kuo, a former legislator of Tsai’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party as saying,“No one opposes a friendly Taiwan-US relationship, but if such a befriending is to the extent of humiliating ourselves … and even to the denial of our rights to the exclusive economic zone of Taiping Island, the Taiwanese public obviously will not agree to such a no-limit pro-US policy.”
Being an experienced politician, Tsai is worried not merely by the Taiping Island problem but US and Japan’s disregard of Taiwan’s interests in dealing with Beijing. Taiwan is regarded by them merely as a pawn they can use to contain China so that when Beijing really tries to take Taiwan by force, Tsai cannot be sure that the US will honor its obligations to protect Taiwan by force as Taiwan is insignificant for the US in US-China relations. Taiwan will certainly be sacrificed if the US believes that supporting Taiwan will affect its interests in Mainland China that are much more important to the US.
Tsai resists Beiing’s demand for her to recognize the one-China “1992 consensus” as she and her party want independence. The independence tendency grew especially due to the Chou Tzu-yu incident.
Chou was then a 16-year old Taiwanese beauty and a member of the very popular South Korean idol girl group TWICE. She has lots of fans in Taiwan and is regarded as a token of Taiwan’s honor. Before the recent Taiwan’s presidential and parliament elections, Chou was attacked by Mainland web users for “advocating Taiwan independence” when she appeared on TV screen holding the flag of the Republic of China. She was made to apologize publicly on TV screen. Taiwanese people were very much upset by Mainlanders’ denial of their right to hold their flag. In addition, the TV scene of the miserable young naïve beautiful girl reading her apology touched their heart deeply. They vied with one another to come out to vote for the pro-independence Tsai and Tsai’s party, giving them a landslide election victory.
However, the “1992 consensus” means that both Taiwan and Mainland China uphold that there is only one China but each can have its own interpretation of what the one China is, i.e. Mainland can regard the People’s Republic of China as the one China while Taiwan can regard the Republic of China as the one China. Therefore, according to the “1992 consensus” Taiwan certainly has the right to regard the Republic of China as the one China and hold the flag of the Republic of China. Soon Beijing quelled Mainlanders’ attack at Chou in accordance with the consensus but the damage has done.
The election victory has given Tsai the wrong impression that Taiwanese people regard themselves as Taiwanese and want independence; therefore, she has disregarded Beijing’s urge for her to recognize the “1992 consensus”. However, Taiwanese people’s anger at Tsai’s lack of concerns for China’s interests in the South China Sea show Tsai that they are Taiwanese as well as Chinese.
Perhaps, Tsai like most people outside China regard the Chinese outside China as people who oppose China. She fails to see they only oppose the communist rule in China but are deep in their hearts Chinese who love China and Chinese culture. If Mainland China becomes a democracy like Taiwan, Taiwanese people will immediately want Taiwan to reunite with Mainland China. That is the biggest headache for Tsai, a pro-US Taiwanese who has now found that she has lost US and Taiwanese people’s support for independence.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1994841/trouble-taiwan-hague-ruling-taiping-island-gives-tsai