‘Dollar diplomacy’ the cursed ‘red shoes’ of DPP authority: Global Times editorial
Published: Jan 19, 2022 11:50 PM
Tsai Ing-wen Photo:VCG

Tsai Ing-wen Photo:VCG

 The Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) on the island of Taiwan announced on Wednesday that regional leader Tsai Ing-wen assigned deputy regional leader Lai Ching-te to attend an inauguration ceremony for incoming Honduran President Xiomara Castro on January 27. It was reported that Lai will play a trick to transit in the US and may find an opportunity to "interact" with US Vice President Kamala Harris, who will also attend the ceremony, to maximize the value of this "visit." The Chinese mainland firmly opposes such despicable political maneuvering. 

The Honduran election in 2021 shocked the DPP authority since Castro said during the campaign that she would sever "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan if elected, though later her deputy changed tone saying that Honduras' relations with the US will be prioritized. Obviously Washington did the work behind the scenes, but Taiwan's "relations" with Honduras are still shaky, which scares the DPP authority. When Lai arrives in Honduras to "consolidate the relationship," he must search hard to bring a "big gift" to satisfy Honduras. The DPP authorities announced a few days ago that 25 products imported from Honduras will get zero tariffs. 

It was also reported that Guatemala, another so-called "ally" of the island of Taiwan, hired a lobbyist in the US and asked Taiwan to foot the bill, being queried by Taiwan people: "Why should Taiwan pay the bill for Guatemala's own diplomatic expenses? In this case, I'm afraid that Taiwan is really being used as an ATM." There is no doubt about this. Taiwan's so-called "international space" has been barely propped up by money. 

After Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, she ended the "diplomatic truce" between the two sides across the Straits, and arrogantly kick-started the model of "beacon diplomacy" (or confrontational diplomacy), attempting to fight a "war of attrition" against the Chinese mainland. This is a path of no return, a bottomless pit, which requires constant consumption of real money. And the result is destined to be in vain. 

The DPP authority paid a huge price to promote its "dollar diplomacy," but in return, they lost so-called diplomatic relations with eight countries. It is only a matter of time before Taiwan authority have zero "diplomatic ally" left. 

The DPP authority has no big fortune at home. The money they splash outside the island is the hard-earned savings of the Taiwan people. Taiwan's economic data in the past two years does not seem to be bad, but the wages of laborers on the island are declining, and the pension fund is about to go bankrupt. There are many places to invest in improving people's livelihood. Taiwan island is facing shortages in five areas: water, electricity, vaccines, security, and peace. The Tsai authority absurdly launched campaigns to use "love" to generate electricity and pray for rain. Yet they could hardly come up with any practical measures to fix the island's problems. Its generosity when buying so-called allies and its parsimony when solving people's livelihood on the island has become the two sides of the DPP authority.

The budget of Taiwan's "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" in 2022 are as high as tens of billions of Taiwan dollars. This is the only the figure they are willing to show the world. A lot of money goes down the grey channel. Due to irregular procedures and lack of supervision, Taiwan once faced a scandal: "confidential fund" embezzled by a "diplomatic emissary." Taiwan's annual waste in this area is huge, and the cost of buying "diplomatic allies" is rising rapidly.

This amount of money is enough to upgrade the entire railway system on the island, which always witnesses safety accidents. It is also enough to renovate Taiwan's dilapidated water infrastructure and alleviate the water shortage.

Some people have calculated that after reunification, the "defense expenditure" and foreign aid, accounting for about one fifth of Taiwan's fiscal budget, can be saved, and the island of Taiwan no longer needs to spend huge amounts of money to buy US weapons or pay a protection fee to the US. If the money saved is distributed among Taiwan people, everyone can get at least 20,000 Taiwan dollars. But DPP authority has created a crazy political black hole on the island for their own selfish ends, nibbling away at what should belong to the people of Taiwan. 

 "Seeking secession" is like the cursed red shoes in the fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. One can't stop dancing until death if they put them on, unless they chop off their feet. The DPP authorities are just wearing this pair of shoes now.