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Taiwan’s Democratic Process Is Non-Negotiable



Tensions between China and Taiwan have escalated amid China's assertive stance on "reunification" with Taiwan, which President Xi Jinping views as an inevitable process. President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan has vehemently opposed this narrative, advocating for the fundamental right of the Taiwanese people to determine their future and emphasizing the crucial role of democracy in any discussions.

 

President Tsai's recent statements, highlighting the necessity of respecting Taiwan's democratic process and underlining the island's commitment to peace with dignity, underscore the gravity of the situation. Xi Jinping's New Year address exhibited a more forceful tone, signaling a departure from previous rhetoric centered on familial ties across the Taiwan Strait.

 

The forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan on January 13 further intensify this standoff. China's refusal to acknowledge Tsai's proposals for negotiations and its portrayal of the elections as a choice between war and peace have escalated concerns about Beijing's intentions.

 

The cornerstone of Tsai's stance lies in upholding democratic values. Taiwan stands as a beacon of democracy in the region, a fact that should resonate with the global community. Tsai's calls for respecting election results, prioritizing peace, and upholding the joint responsibility for stability in the Taiwan Strait are not just confined to the island's interests but resonate with universal democratic principles.

 

China's increasing pressure, including attempts to interfere in Taiwan's elections through disinformation campaigns and economic coercion, has prompted Tsai to caution against overreliance on China and to encourage Taiwanese businesses to diversify their global engagements.

 

The economic and political dynamics between Taiwan and China have been marred by China's displeasure with Taiwanese politicians like Vice President Lai Ching-te, further straining the already taut relations. Both major political parties in Taiwan assert that the future of the island should be determined solely by its residents.

 

However, amidst this tension, Taiwan remains resolute in its commitment to fortify its defense capabilities and modernize its military infrastructure to ensure its safety. Taiwan's emphasis on bolstering its defense isn't aimed at provocation but rather securing its sovereignty and safeguarding its democratic way of life.

 

Taiwan's recent decision to escalate sanctions against Russia echoes its support for global issues such as Ukraine's plight, drawing parallels between Ukraine's situation and the potential consequences if China were to use force to subjugate Taiwan.

 

The world's solidarity with Taiwan becomes imperative in the face of China's increasing belligerence. Upholding the principles of self-determination and democratic governance is not just an obligation towards Taiwan but a commitment to global democratic values.

 

The international community must unequivocally support Taiwan's right to determine its future and stand against any attempts to undermine its sovereignty. It's time for the world to rally behind Taiwan and defend the democratic principles that it embodies, sending a strong message that sovereignty and democracy are non-negotiable values in today's world.

 

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