Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.
China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.
As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.
What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?
Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.
But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.
Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.