Following the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong in 2019 and the passing of the national security law last year, Hong Kongers are migrating abroad or thinking of migrating in record numbers. One major destination is Taiwan, with its banner of freedom and democracy. But for these migrants pushed out of their home city by circumstance, is Taiwan a temporary haven, or a permanent home? Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong speaks to Hong Kongers in Taiwan.
Even as Western academics are translating essays by Chinese academics in a bid to understand China better, Wu Guo says that in the field of cultural psychology, the views of the well-educated “middle society“ in China are worth tapping into. Do the trauma of national humiliation and other cultural baggage explain China’s rising nationalism and persistent “grand unification strategy”?
The US State Department recently cancelled all overseas trips, including the planned trips by UN envoy Kelly Craft to Taiwan, and Secretary of State Pompeo to Europe. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong takes a look at what it says about the outgoing Trump administration and the implications for President-elect Joe Biden’s team going forward.
Given rising cross-strait tensions, there have been increasing calls in mainland China for reunification by force with Taiwan. However, recent statements by key Chinese advisers on Taiwan issue seem to suggest otherwise, and Chinese academics have since been engaged in a debate. While both sides appear to be in opposition, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan thinks it is necessary to look beneath the surface.
Both the mainland and Taiwan are aware of the need to wrestle for top research talents and spur their semiconductor industries to greater heights. Taiwanese firms in particular have made great strides over the years. With mainland Chinese companies scrambling to counter suppressive moves by the US, access to Taiwanese talent and expertise will be of even greater economic and political importance.
A poster released by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and a question by a Xinhua reporter sparked speculations of a possible “national reunification law”. Will Beijing roll out such a law targeting Taiwan, and would it set a timeline for “military reunification”? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines the issue.
Zheng Weibin assesses that the future of the US’s leading role in Asia depends on whether it can see itself retreating from the region and letting their allies in Asian exert influence by proxy. If that is the case, Taiwan may no longer be such a key set piece. Moreover, if both the US and China recalibrate their thinking about each other, they might reach a consensus on coexistence.
Having lived through the Cold War era when people were misled by empty slogans and labels, Taiwanese writer Chiang Hsun cautions that we may once again find ourselves under the influence of such meaningless words in the noisy internet age. Have we lost our basic cognitive skills to observe and contemplate in solitude?
The three communiques in US-China relations gave both the US and China a certain cloak of strategic ambiguity, but with senior members of the US government appearing to go against the tenets and China stubbornly holding the US to its clauses, what is left seems to be stark, opposing positions that make drifting into hot war all the more likely.