In the wake of the fall of Afghanistan, Taiwanese media is striking back against a massive CCP propaganda campaign against Taiwan. Publications like Taipei Times and Taiwan News are confidently articulating that Taiwan is, in fact, an independent and sovereign country, is self-reliant and capable of defending itself and is of immense value to the free world.
Taiwan is an Independent and Sovereign Country
Taiwanese media is proudly asserting that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu stated that “Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China,’” which “marked an important step toward the nation finally breaking free from its China-imposed straitjacket,” according to Taipei Times. Taiwan President Tsai-Ing Wen’s recent mention of “neighboring countries” was interpreted by some to include China, disrupting China’s “One China Policy,” according to another Taipei Times article. A poll cited by Taiwan News also stated that 89.9 percent of the citizens on the island polled identify as Taiwanese.
Taiwanese media provide evidence that Taiwan has the characteristics of a proper nation. “Taiwan is a liberal democracy with an independent and sovereign populace, territory and system of government; it is evidently a different country from China,” according to Taipei Times. According to Taiwan News, Taiwan’s distinct flag, language, identity, trade, legal system, and government, among other things, “are all irrefutable hallmarks of a nation-state.” And according to another Taipei Times editorial, “Taiwan is a de facto independent nation that perfectly fits the four chief criteria of statehood required by the Montevideo Convention. Namely, it has a permanent population, a defined territory, a functioning government and the capacity to enter relations with other states.”
Taiwan is Capable of Defending Itself Against China
Taiwanese media also assert that Taiwan is fully capable of defending itself. Taipei Times cited Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen as stating that “[…]Taiwan’s only option is to make ourselves stronger, more united and more resolute in our determination to protect ourselves.” According to Taipei Times, “President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration is under no illusions, and is not relying on Washington to take the initiative and send its military to assist Taiwan should a conflict break out.”
Taiwan News highlighted the “exciting new developments” of Taiwan’s recent armaments:
Taiwan’s first domestically developed submarine will begin production in November, a new Tuo Chiang-class corvette warship will be commissioned later this month, six existing Kang Ding-class frigates are having their missile systems upgraded, and the Taiwan Army is having its stockpile of mortars and machine guns increased.
There are plenty of exciting new developments. A small drone defense system is being established to help protect critical military targets, five new combat training facilities are being built, and new equipment from the U.S. is scheduled to arrive, including 40 M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers.
An editorial in the Taipei Times proposed further creative solutions, arguing that Taiwan should leverage drones as a “safer and more cost-effective” way to combat China’s grey zone warfare: “[t]hey could also be deployed at random within the ADIZ and fly random routes, introducing risk for PLA aircraft. If the PLA were to shoot down drones within Taiwan’s airspace, that would be perceived by the international community as a unilateral act of aggression — and possibly an act of war.”
And Taiwan News made it clear that Taiwan should not be concerned with its more modest armaments compared to China’s: “Taiwan has no ambition to defeat China or mount a hostile attack. Taiwan just needs to be able to defend itself from invasion should the need arise.”
Taiwan is Immensely Valuable to the Free World
And lastly, Taiwanese media demonstrate the immense value that Taiwan brings to the free world. According to Taiwan News, “Taiwan remains geopolitically crucial to the U.S. in a way that Afghanistan never has been…Taiwan…sits on a trade route that is vital for U.S. interests to remain out of Chinese hands.” According to Taipei Times, citing a defense analyst interviewed in Forbes, “[I]f Taiwan fell under the sway of Beijing, either peacefully or by force, the strategic balance in the Western Pacific would be irreparably changed.” Taiwan also “play[s] a pivotal role in promoting freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. China’s control over Taiwan would enable it to dominate the Pacific region and thus pose security threats to the Philippines, Japan, Guam and Hawaii,” according to that same editorial.
And Taiwanese technology is essential to the free world. “The U.S. and the Western world is also dependent on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry for so many of its vital and developing technologies. This so-called ‘Silicon Shield’ is a major influence over the U.S. government’s desire to keep Taiwan out of Chinese hands…” according to Taiwan News.
By demonstrating Taiwan’s independence, self-reliance, and strategic value, the Taiwanese press is striking back at the CCP’s propaganda campaign to de-legitimize Taiwan in the eyes of the world.