China’s Concerns Heighten Following Election of Ching-te

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In early 2024, there was a landmark event for Taiwan with the election of President William Lai Ching-te, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The US supports and congratulates. William Lai Ching-te winning a majority of the vote 40.1% won over Hou Yu- ih, the candidate of the pro-China Kuomintang Party (KMT) which received 33.5% of the votes. The electoral result seriously angered China, which for years has acted restrictively on the island, claiming that mainland falls under mainland China. There is foreseen hope and a chance to build a democratic state. However, the goal will be difficult to achieve, as the Democratic Party did not get enough votes to fulfill the legislature. Ching-te stressed that “more dialogue and cooperation” are needed to make cooperation with the opposition work.

Taiwan – an island drifting away from China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi revealed that Taiwan has always been part of the Chinese Republic; “Taiwan has never been a country. It never has been and never will be”, he stated. There were also warnings from the Minister, ” If anyone on the island of Taiwan has the audacity to go for independence, that person will try to split Chinese territory and will be harshly punished by both history and law.” Beijing refuses to accept such fact, while the U.S. sends its congratulations. The day after the election, on the website of the U.S Embassy & Consulates in China, Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken posted a statement in which he congratulates the newly elected Ching-te, mentioning that it is “demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system and electoral process.”

On 17th January , the Democratic Progressive Party posted an entry on X in which it accommodated the reception of the U.S. Delegation led by NSA Chief Stephen Hadley and Deputy Secretary of State for Government, James Steinberg.

The time for change has come

Taiwan has lost a longtime diplomatic ally. Less than 48 hours after the presidential results were published, the Republic of Nauru’s Facebook page, President David Rainbok, made the post, “there has been a decision by the Nauru government to recognize the People’s Republic of China,” equating to a possible break in relations with Taiwan after years of joint cooperation.

Japan as a new ally ?

On Monday 15th January, Keiji Furuya serving as Japan’s chief group of lawmakers promoting Japan – Taiwan relations met with President William Lei Ching-te in Taipei. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has repeatedly straightened in his statements to “stress the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” . What both Japan and the U.S. emphasize is the way to resolve all conflicts peacefully. Taiwan has taken a pro-Western direction that may even lead to an armed conflict with Beijing. Will it come to that ? That remains to be seen, but tensions hang in the air.

Bartosz Świderski
WRITTEN BY

Bartosz Świderski

Hailing from Lower Silesia, Poland, I am an avid news observer and a passionate social media user. I often share my insights and opinions about current events on my Instagram profile, @cactusupmyhead. So, if you're looking for an informed and engaging perspective on the world around us, be sure to follow me!

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