‘China’s Mad?’: How Taiwan’s Democracy Defies China’s Threats

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'china's mad' how taiwan's democracy defies china's threats

Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China claims as its own, to hold its presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14, 2024, amid rising tensions and pressure from Beijing. 

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which advocates for Taiwan’s separate identity and sovereignty, won a landslide victory with its candidate, current Vice President Lai Ching-te, defeating his rivals from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP). The DPP also secured a majority in the legislature, giving it a mandate to pursue its policies and reforms.

The Challenge

China, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, has framed the elections as a choice between “peace and war”, calling the DPP dangerous separatists and urging Taiwanese to make the “right choice”. China has also intensified its political, economic, and military pressure on Taiwan, and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goal of unification. 

China has also increased its assertiveness and aggression in the Indo-Pacific region, and has challenged the U.S. leadership and influence.

The Response

Taiwan’s democracy has defied China’s threats by showing its resilience and vitality, as well as its support and legitimacy among the people. Taiwan has held free, fair, and highly competitive elections, which have been praised by the international community as a model of democracy. 

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Taiwan has also reiterated its commitment to uphold the constitution, the rule of law, and the status quo, and to respect the diversity and pluralism of its society. Taiwan has also emphasized its vision of a “New Taiwan”, which is based on justice, democracy, and human rights, and which aims to create a prosperous, harmonious, and progressive nation.

Taiwan’s democracy has also defied China’s threats by seeking to strengthen its alliances and partnerships in the region and the world, which it views as essential for advancing its interests and values, as well as for promoting regional peace and stability. Taiwan has reaffirmed its close and longstanding relationship with the United States, which is its most important security and economic partner, and which has pledged to provide Taiwan with defensive arms and to maintain its capacity to resist any use of force or coercion by China. 

Taiwan has also engaged with other like-minded countries and organizations, such as Japan, Australia, India, the European Union, and the World Health Organization, to enhance its international participation and recognition, which have been severely restricted by China’s diplomatic pressure and isolation.

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