“The world has entered an eventful period, during which Taiwan is ineligible to play an active role,” China’s state-run Global Times concluded its anti-Taiwan editorial on Friday. “Taiwan authorities should have the basic rationality to act cautiously. Otherwise, they have to pay the price for their self-righteousness and recklessness.”
There is no mention along with that threat of Taiwan’s success in constraining its coronavirus outbreak, but this is the true explanation for the piece savaging pro-independence Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
China views the island of Taiwan as a breakaway province, but Tsai was reelected easily in January to a second term in office specifically because of her unambiguous support for and assertion of independence from mainland China. Tsai had initially trailed her electoral challenger, who took a more traditionally ambiguous stance toward the question of reunification. Things shifted dramatically when Taiwanese voters witnessed China’s treatment of Hong Kong. Suddenly China’s offer of a “one-nation, two-systems” governing narrative seemed a lot less credible.
Now, Xi Jinping’s regime has another reason to gripe with Tsai — namely, that her democratic government has done a better job than Xi in addressing this pandemic. Beijing is furious that the world has noticed Taiwan’s success, even in the face of the open derision Taipei has faced from the World Health Organization, a group whose leadership is essentially in Xi’s pocket.
That the WHO refuses to recognize or deal constructively with Taiwan was an early reason for its failure to warn the world. Its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has tried to help Beijing’s public image with all manner of absurd claims, including even that Taiwan is racist toward him. It hasn’t worked. The world is slowly waking up to the fact that Tedros isn’t a public health leader, but rather a ludicrous puppet for Communist China.
That explains why this Global Times editorial is so hyperbolic. “Rash moves made by Taiwan will likely turn the Taiwan Straits into a flashpoint that will severely impact the world order in the post-pandemic era,” it reads. “The island will face real danger at that time.”
This is a clear threat to destroy Taiwan if it continues to offer a countercoronavirus example to the world. Leaving no doubt as to its meaning, the editorial adds that, “Even if there wasn’t a war, an all-around confrontation between the world’s two biggest powers will have a catastrophic effect on Taiwan society.”
This isn’t just about Taiwan. It’s also about sending a message to the United States not to strengthen ties with Taiwan in response to the crisis. Beijing is always enraged when the U.S. sells arms to Taiwan or provides some form of new recognition to its government. But what the Communist regime most fears is that Taiwan will become a more credible international partner than China. That would undermine the very essence of Xi’s global agenda, but it’s also exactly what’s happening right now.
In that context, expect more editorials like this one in the weeks ahead. Taiwan, after all, is doing a good job.