Tsai’s last ‘Double Ten’ speech sounds a ‘marching brass’ for DPP’s new round of provocation
Published: Oct 10, 2023 11:14 PM
A view of the Taipei city, Taiwan island Photo: Unsplash

A view of the Taipei city, Taiwan island Photo: Unsplash

Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen delivered her "Double Ten" (October 10) speech on Tuesday. This is Tsai's last "Double Ten" speech before she steps down in May 2024, but also a continued vow by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to step up its provocations and rash actions in the future.

It is clear to see what Tsai wants to achieve through this year's speech. Firstly, she gave a long list of her accomplishments since coming to power, which aims to boost DPP's votes for the upcoming elections. Secondly, the Tsai authorities have been pushing forward "de-sinicization" and promoting "incremental independence" on the island of Taiwan. In this year's "Double Ten" speech, Tsai intended to draw Taiwan residents further into her version of "Taiwan independence."

As Tsai's terms come to an end soon, some interesting changes of rhetoric can be witnessed in her Tuesday address. In her "Double Ten" speech in 2019, Tsai specifically mentioned that her authorities "will not act provocatively or rashly" on the cross-Straits issue, and then she didn't mention "We do not provoke" until this year.

With such a seemingly softened tone, Tsai is actually speaking for the DPP and Lai Ching-te, the party's candidate for regional leadership. On the one hand, as China-US relations have shown signs of easing recently, the DPP now needs to assure Washington that it will not intensify its provocations toward the Chinese mainland. On the other hand, the DPP can also use the promise of "not acting provocatively or rashly" to fool voters on the island who are worried that cross-Straits relations will face even greater challenges if Lai becomes the next regional leader.

In addition, experts told the Global Times that Tsai seeks to leave some leeway for herself by continuing to tone down her provocations, because if a non-Green camp comes to power, then there might be a possibility that she will have to face political liquidation for what she has done as the regional leader.

Regardless of how Tsai gushed about how she wants peace in the Taiwan Straits, in the past seven years we have seen Taiwan enhancing its provocations and rash actions under her leadership. During this period, the DPP authorities' refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus has grown blunter, and its stance of seeking US support for "Taiwan independence" has become firmer. Taiwan's relationship with certain countries unwilling to adhere to the one-China principle has become closer, while the provocation of the one-China principle in the international arena has grown stronger. As a result, the cross-Straits relations have reached a new freezing point.

In last year's "Double Ten" Speech, Tsai showed her desire to "make Taiwan a Taiwan of the world, and let us give the world an even better Taiwan." But the world will only become a better place if peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits remain - that is when the Taiwan secessionists stop their dangerous moves to stir up troubles and tread on the mainland's red line.

Unwrapping the DPP's pursuit of Taiwan's "visibility" in the international community - or in Tsai's words, "making Taiwan a Taiwan of the world," we see a vicious ambition of pushing for "Taiwan independence." But the more the DPP takes action to achieve this goal, the more the world understands the importance of adhering to the one-China principle.

As Taiwan's elections approach, Tsai's last "Double Ten" speech signifies the beginning of a new round of tricks the DPP will play on cross-Straits issues. However, there is no future for Taiwan secessionists; reunification will and must happen. No matter what kind of approach the DPP authorities will take to promote "Taiwan independence," extermination will ultimately be the end of these forces.