Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Taiwan and Ukraine

1 September 2015

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Taiwan is expected to face a major regime change on 16 January 2016. “If the current mood holds, voters stand ready to punt Mr. Ma’s Kuomintang party not only from the presidency but also, for the first time, from parliament as well – a major shift in a territory the People’s Republic of China claims as its own, at a time when Beijing is already struggling to contain a market crisis and the fallout of slowing growth”. (Globe, 31 August 2015)

I have been wondering for quite some time about the approaching Chinese implosion. There are quite some economic indicators that point towards this implosion: property market, stock market, interest rates, currency rate. There is an interesting – and recommended – article about the analogy between the situations of 2008 USA and 2015 China and even ancient Rome 11 BC (The Big Picture). 

I have also been wondering for some time about the increased Chinese cyber espionage, especially the hack into the United States Office of Personnel Management as well as the Chinese claims towards the South China Sea. “Taiwan was the most-targeted country in the Asia-Pacific region during the first half of 2014 for hacking attempts aimed at penetrating computer systems to steal data, according to U.S. data security firm FireEye Inc.”(Reuters)

In fact, “Taiwan, along with China and four Southeast Asian countries, is a claimant in the South China Sea, though this fact is sometimes overlooked. On paper, Taiwan and China share the same claims. The dashed or U-shaped line encapsulating much of the South China Sea appears on both Taiwanese and Chinese maps.” (Brookings)

In fact, there are some strikingly, uncanny, similarities between Taiwan and Crimea/Ukraine. Both countries are considered being part of their main neighbour’s territory. Both neighbours face serious domestic issues (e.g., economy, social stability). Moreover, both countries face(d) an unwelcome – and unacceptable – regime change in the eyes of their main neighbour. 

“A win for Tsai Ing-wen, the presidential candidate currently polling at 40 per cent for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, would mark a new era for Taiwan. [..] But with attitudes in Taiwan growing more skeptical toward China, Ms. Tsai has also said she would “uphold the right of the people to decide their future free of coercion.” The implicit warning to China, whose President Xi Jinping has said there must soon be a “final resolution” between the two sides, prompted the Communist-run Global Times tabloid to warn last week that any showdown with Beijing would put Taipei in a “highly dangerous situation.” China still considers Taiwan a renegade state that it could use force to repossess, and many Taiwanese remember with fear the tense summer 20 years ago when China fired missiles not far from the island’s shores.” (Globe, 31 August 2015)

“History, Mr. Ma added, offers a warning against Taiwan turning its back on China. Over the past 3,000 years, the two sides have been unified for 70 per cent of the time and separate the rest – but the transitions have not been simple. “Without exception, when we have moved from unification to separation or separation to unification, it took war,” he said”. (Globe, 31 August 2015)

What would the world do when the Crimean situation would be repeated in Taiwan? Abstain again?

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