Taiwan Legislative Leader Warns of Chinese Desire for Global Domination

May 17, 2023 1:59 PM
A fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the PLA Air Force soars into the sky during a high-intensity flight training exercise in early Feb. 2023. PLA Photo

The Chinese Communist Party wants to be a global hegemon and Taiwan is part of that journey, the president of the island’s legislature warned in a Tuesday address.

“If we do not take the Chinese threat seriously, a dark future awaits all of mankind,” You Si-kun said at the Hudson Institute through a translator. He pointed to Beijing’s crack-down on democracy in Hong Kong and treatment of its Uighur minority population as examples from its recent domestic history.

The party is both communist and authoritarian with a fixed goal of making the “whole world subject to one rule.” He contrasted China’s aggressive actions toward its neighbors and in the region with democratic India’s generally supportive and non-bullying approach, noting both nation’s populations are similar.

“Taiwan has strong DNA in resisting external threats,” You said. Several times during the event, he referred to Taiwan’s resistance to the Japanese military takeover of the island that lasted more than five months in 1895.

Taiwan then had been ceded to the Japanese following Beijing’s defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War. “There was no government, no leader, no weapons, no other government’s support” for the Taiwanese in this conflict.

You cited the differences between Taiwan’s fight then and Ukraine’s now. After praising President Volodymyr Zelensky for asking the West for more weapons, not sanctuary, You added that “Ukraine has its own government … and troops” to fight back against the Russian invaders.

Even with the support of the United States now and others in the Indo-Pacific, “self-defense … is the best means of defense.”

You Si-kun

“Taiwan also has the Taiwan Strait as a natural deterrent” against an amphibious invasion of the self-governing island, he added.

You was encouraged by the improving relations between Japan and South Korea, as both recognize the threat to democracies that China poses. He praised Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos for strengthening its security alliance with the United States.

He thanked Washington for its strong support in the mid-1980s which led to Taiwan’s change from a dictatorship to a representative democracy. He also said Taiwan is appreciative of American and other nations’ support for re-instating it in United Nations activities like the World Health Organization. For years, China has been pressuring other nations to withdraw diplomatic relations with Taiwan and bar it from participating in U.N. organizations and panels.

He termed Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, with American military support, “a defensive crescent” against Chinese ambitions in the so-called first island chain off its coast.

Because Ukraine has been “so difficult to conquer,” You said Chinese President Xi Jinping must be careful “so he will not become the second [Vladimir] Putin,”

John Grady

John Grady

John Grady, a former managing editor of Navy Times, retired as director of communications for the Association of the United States Army. His reporting on national defense and national security has appeared on Breaking Defense, GovExec.com, NextGov.com, DefenseOne.com, Government Executive and USNI News.

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