Taiwan forum with participants from West just makes noise, won’t change status
Published: Dec 01, 2021 10:11 PM
US, Taiwan Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

US, Taiwan Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

Days ahead of the US-initiated summit of democracy, the island of Taiwan plans to hold a forum with great fanfare, inviting some politicians and experts from Western countries and regions. But this is just a political show gathering a motley crew of provocateurs to provoke the Chinese mainland, and such a stunt will only create superficial chatter in the international community but won't change the island's status, said mainland experts.

There is no need to overreact to such an event, experts said, noting that the mainland has the strategic initiative and ultimate decision on how to solve the Taiwan question. 

The "2021 Open Parliament Forum" will be held on Thursday and Friday in Taipei, according to Taiwan's local authority.

Derek Mitchell, president of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which is a US-based organization included on the mainland's sanctions list for supporting anti-China forces to create chaos and engage in extremism, and Manpreet Singh Anand, regional director for Asia-Pacific programs of the NDI, who is also on the mainland's sanctions list, have arrived Taiwan to attend the forum.

A delegation of parliamentarians from the three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - also have landed on the island.

Attendees will issue a joint statement reaffirming the commitment to "defending democracy and promoting open parliament civic participation," according to Taiwan media.

The forum aims to hype their democratic bloc ahead of the US-initiated democracy summit, which Taiwan has been invited to, while targeting the Chinese mainland, experts said.

The essence of the Taiwan question is the rivalry between China and the US. As long as the two major countries maintain competition-driven relations, such provocations won't end, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that China doesn't need to overreact to the forum. 

"There is no need to panic when you walk at night and hear croaks," Lü said in metaphor, noting that the Chinese mainland has the strategic initiative and ultimate decision on how to solve the Taiwan question. 

The US knows that crossing the red line on sovereignty and territorial integrity will prompt serious countermeasures from China, so it is uniting other countries to build the island into a "democracy beacon" to enhance Taiwan island's political presence, Lü said.

Such tactics would make some noise but won't change Taiwan island's status, the expert said.

Also on Tuesday, the Netherlands' House of Representatives adopted two motions supporting Taiwan and Lithuania respectively during a plenary session, one of which urged the Dutch government to openly express its opposition to the Chinese mainland changing the Taiwan Straits' status, and another called on the Dutch government to support Lithuania's decision to allow Taiwan to open a representative office in the Baltic nation with "Taiwan" in its official name. 

 A handful of European countries that have limited economic and trade connections with the Chinese mainland can easily be manipulated by the US and act as pawns, as some politicians in the countries believe that the US would compensate their losses or even offer extra rewards, Lü said.

But the expert believes that the Netherlands won't act as provocatively as Lithuania, with which China has downgraded its diplomatic relationship.