Taiwan’s democracy roadshow shows it has ‘no other cards to play’
Published: Nov 16, 2021 08:58 PM
Chen Chien-jen: screenshot from Taiwan media

Chen Chien-jen: screenshot from Taiwan media

Ahead of the US-initiated Summit for Democracy at the end of 2021 which Taiwan island yearns for an invitation to, the island is grasping every opportunity to raise the banner of democracy as Taiwan politicians will attend a democracy forum this week in Lithuania.

However, poor political shows in the name of democracy are becoming more and more limited, and secessionists' wishful thinking to promote the island's international presence is doomed to fail, observers said.

Taiwan media reported on Tuesday that former vice leader Chen Chien-jen will attend a democracy forum on Friday and Saturday in Lithuania 's capital Vilnius.

Chen will give a speech on the island's so-called democratic achievements, COVID-19 response, and countermeasures against disinformation and external threats, local media said.

The island's external affairs authority recently noted that Chen's attendance will continue to strengthen ties between the island and the "democratic community." Chen will also visit a foundation in Poland, Taiwan media said. 

Lithuania is on thin ice on the Taiwan question after China recalled its ambassador and bilateral trade and investment face a huge blow, Wang Yiwei, director of the institute of international affairs at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

If Poland and other European nations dare to go further on the Taiwan question, they may face similar sanctions as Lithuania from China, said Li Fei, a professor at the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University.

China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and demanded that the Lithuanian government recall its ambassador to China as a countermeasure after Lithuania allowed separatist Taiwan authorities to open a "representative office" under the name of "Taiwan."

With Taiwan losing its allies and presence on the global stage, politicians from some European nations tried to offer a stage for the island, under pressure from the US, to build a public image of "no fear of power [mainland]," Li told the Global Times on Tuesday.

However, with only the "democracy card" left for the island to play, Taiwan faces a more limited room to gain international support, Li noted.

The so-called democratic alliance is, in essence, in violation of multilateralism and is a bloc of power making the global rules, Wang said.

The expert said the US has found value in using Taiwan in the digital field such as chips and semiconductors, and is colluding with its allies to form a bloc under the guise of "democracy" in an attempt to set new global rules based on its own interests and contain the mainland.