The newly re-elected president of Taiwan has delivered a blow to Communist China, said one senior U.S. lawmaker. However, China’s determination to take control of Taiwan should not be underestimated, despite her landslide victory.
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Monday, Jan. 13, said, about China’s intention to take over Taiwan, “Is that really going to play to their benefit long term?”
“Or is that going to cause—not just a regional conflict—do you think other Western democracies are going to sit still and watch a democracy in that part of the region that’s not causing anybody any problems … are we all going to sit and watch that be taken away?”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s victory on Jan. 11 came after Beijing had attempted to thwart her election with disinformation, utilizing its cyber army. The United States and the United Kingdom combined in their efforts to prevent interference from Beijing, “It was a great example of the American government being joined up in a way that I haven’t witnessed before,” a European diplomat told the Washington Examiner recently.
“We are particularly pleased to see that our bilateral cooperation with the U.S. to counter disinformation and cyberattacks has been enhanced along the years,” a spokeswoman at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States, told the Washington Examiner.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saw the new president’s win as a step forward. Although the United States doesn’t have formal ties with Taiwan, it nevertheless regards Taiwan as an ally.
“Under her leadership, we hope Taiwan will continue to serve as a shining example for countries that strive for democracy, prosperity, and a better path for their people,” Pompeo said on Saturday.
Several months ago, Pompeo’s team authorized the sale of military equipment valued at $2.2 billion to Taiwan.
Beijing wasn’t happy with the sale, “We urge the U.S. to stay committed to the one-China principle and the three joint communiqués, cancel this arms sale immediately, and stop military ties with Taiwan to prevent further damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in July, reports the Washington Examiner.
“Taiwan has once again provided a stellar example of democracy in action,” Jonathan Fritz, who leads the State Department’s China desk, said at the election watch party on Saturday. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Tsai administration and with the leadership of all Taiwan’s parties, to advance our common interests and further strengthen the unofficial relations between the United States and people on Taiwan.”
Chinese leader Xi Jinping regards power over Taiwan as a necessary step for the mainland.
“The Chinese government’s position won’t change: we stick to the one-China principle and oppose ‘Taiwan independence,’ ‘two Chinas’ and ‘one China, one Taiwan,'” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said post-election.
“We hope and believe that the international community will continue to adhere to the one-China principle, and understand and support the Chinese people’s just cause of opposing ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities and striving to achieve national reunification.”