The malign attitude towards Taiwan is misplaced 

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Denys Springer is an educator and freelance writer trained in social sciences, labour studies and industrial relations, education, conflict, resolution, and mediation. Denys Springer lectures part-time at the Open Campus UWI in Saint Lucia on supervisory management – the psychology of management.

By Denys Springer

The United Nations came into being because of the atrocities of World War II is now witnessing China, pushing its weight about in terms of Taiwan, Tibet, the Xinjiang area and even in parts of Africa and the Caribbean. 

This situation, the treatment of Indians and the recolonisation of nations are simply unacceptable. The United Nations must put an end to this. If not, a new institution not represented by “affiliates” of China is required.

What we are now seeing in the Xinjiang region is unbelievable – a network of camps and prisons where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghur’s and other Muslim minorities have been detained to the extent that these people must learn mandarin. 

The world witnessed the WHO position at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s aggressiveness towards Taiwan in January 2020. 

How can anyone expect Taiwan, a fully thriving country and economy to be part of China? How can the UN accept shutting the door on Taiwan? Is it because of China’s veto vote? 

Activists are now fleeing Hong Kong (HK) seeking asylum in the US, Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Germany. This has upset Chinese authorities. But there is nothing they can do about it because they have clearly shown how dishonest they were in the dealings with the British and what was signed in 1997 when they took over HK. A deal that should have lasted 50 years was simply scrapped after 23 years. We have also seen their aggressive attitude with their neighbours on the South China Sea.

In 2012, I was intrigued by a West Indian newspaper report during my Research Fellowship in Taiwan. The Barbados Sun newspaper in 2008 began its story that “in a week which saw the World Health Organization (WHO) reject Taiwan’s application for membership and a senior representative of Taiwan held closed doors discussion with top officials of the government of China”. 

The question was why? What hold does China think it has on Taiwan to believe that it can impose a ‘One China Policy’ around the necks of other countries who want to do business with Taiwan?  

Once again my research on these two countries over the years does not see any semblance of a ‘One China Principle’. In my view neither has a hold on the other as they are two separate countries, one communistic the other democratic. In fact, the Japanese had more of a hold on Taiwan than China ever did. Much of Taiwan’s infrastructure is due to the efforts of the Japanese who ran the country from 1895 to 1945.

Based on the attitude by China and the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) a top diplomat from the Caribbean in an interview was asked [then]: What advice would he give to Caribbean governments that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan?

I was simply astounded when he went on to expound that “they should begin negotiations with the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on an aid and investment agreement that gives them as much help as they now get from Taiwan if not more”. He went on to say that “once the agreement is tied up they should move on, like the nine other countries of CARICOM in pursuit of the ‘One China policy’ ”. 

This I thought was really diabolical, as here was an individual who has lived in a democratic country all his life yet wants to see a democratic country taken over in a communist fashion. He went on further alluding that: “It is a policy that is followed by the vast majority of countries in the world”.  

As far as China and Caribbean countries are concerned it is part of a political agenda to woo Caribbean islands that recognize Taiwan.

However, the world has reconded that Taiwan has grown stronger despite Beijing’s huffing and puffing leader Xi Jinping, the wannabe emperor.    

Taiwanese is a democratic country. China is not, with an economy that is dominated by state-owned firms and state-led investment and rising inequality. Instead of enlarging the urban middle class, China is increasingly splitting into a filthy rich small upper-class society while the majority of the population earnings and savings are eroded by inflation and state confiscation. 

COVID-19 has made this even more obvious. Therefore, the question remains: Why does China at present have an economy that is highly unequal and dominated by State enterprises and monetary manipulation? 

The answer is quite simple when considering China’s political system and contemporary history, that despite economic reforms to liberalize its economy and the labour market, the state continues to hold a tight grip over most undertakings and institutions. Hong Kong’s example of China’s reneging on the agreement made with the British – is also to Taiwan.  

Is this the “One China Policy” that critics of Taiwan want the Caribbean islands to follow en-mass? This certainly cannot be. 

CARICOM Member States must have a say in their model of democracy, economic and diplomatic friends. It is clear that Taiwan is where true democracy, the rule of law, and human rights flourish at every level. 

Hail Taiwan – long live Taiwan – Ilha Formosa – the beautiful island.

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