Taiwan’s DPP becomes ‘chess piece’ in tussle between Beijing and Washington: Global Times Editorial
Published: Jun 05, 2021 02:07 PM
Medical workers wearing protective suits seen transferring a covid-19 patient from a quarantine centre in Taipei, island of Taiwan, on May 30. Photo: VCG

Medical workers wearing protective suits seen transferring a covid-19 patient from a quarantine centre in Taipei, island of Taiwan, on May 30. Photo: VCG

The shipment of 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from Japan arrived on the Taiwan Island on Friday. Local politicians like Tsai Ing-wen showed no hesitation in outpouring their gratitude to Japan. Taipei city’s landmark “101” skyscraper even displayed LED messages to thank Japan. 

Taiwan’s Central News Agency quoted an anonymous source on Wednesday saying that “Tsai played a key role in the negotiation process with the assistance of the US. The 10-day talks the source described as ‘silent battles’ finally came to fruition when the three sides reached a consensus,” Kyodo News reported on Friday. 

Taiwan is also included in the US vaccine distribution plan, yet it is not known how many vaccines the island will obtain from Washington. Nonetheless, Tsai and her cohorts in the island have already rushed to show gratitude. 

The Japan-donated vaccine is Japan’s stock, which Tokyo refused to use to vaccinate its own people. Because of AstraZeneca vaccine’s risk of resulting in blood clotting disorders, the vaccine has been excluded from use by many countries including the US. The US-planned donation is primarily AstraZeneca shots, too. Taiwan has recently recorded a series of cases of blood clotting linked to the AstraZeneca vaccination, which has caused rising concerns in the island. 

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities are worshipping the US and Japan blindly. Their servile manner to the US and Japan is in stark contrast to their categorical refusal to accept the vaccines offered by the Chinese mainland, which has been officially recommended by the WHO. 

Taiwan politicians have made quite a few mainlanders angered. Moreover, at least two passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 succeeded in boarding a UNI Air flight from Taiwan to Xiamen city, Fujian Province. The two things together have created an emotional resonance on the internet. 

The mainland’s netizens’ dissatisfaction and indignation is justified. The DPP authorities are determined to confront the Chinese mainland, tying themselves tightly to foreign forces. Many mainlanders hope that the DPP should be taught a “decisive lesson” as soon as possible. It is believed that the DPP authorities have seen this backlash on the internet. They are concerned about whether the public opinion will have any impact on the mainland’s Taiwan policy. 

As the power of the mainland grows, the nation’s military capability has long extended to the areas beyond the Taiwan Island. The initiative on how to resolve the Taiwan question is now firmly in the hands of Beijing. The secessionist forces on the island know this very well, who are increasingly gripped by panic. 

The strength of the mainland is far more superior and powerful than the island of Taiwan. The real struggle between the two sides across the Taiwan Straits is not about military confrontation. In Beijing’s strategic chessboard of the Western Pacific, the role of Taiwan is diminishing. Therefore, Beijing is unlikely to put all its resources to contend with the DPP. 

The DPP authorities are helpless. Chinese mainland’s policy toward Taiwan Island will no longer need to consider DPP’s response. Beijing will take the future welfare of Taiwan people more into its consideration, while building up its strength and prestige in the Western Pacific region and in the entire world, to prepare for the ultimate resolution of the Taiwan question. 

Beijing is playing a chess game, and the DPP authorities are merely the chess pieces on the board. The DPP politicians on the island are likely to become more hysterical, continuing to kowtow to some foreign forces, like the US, in their desperate bid to survive. Taiwan has already been an inalienable part of China, and the DPP shall never be allowed to secede it from 1.4 billion Chinese people.