Taiwan Needs Us Now

May 1st, 2020 | RR

We should be shocked to see Taiwan falling off the radar through this newest pandemic. They paved the way through the SARS crisis of 2003 and taught the world lessons with their response, but in 2020 they've been entirely ignored. Instead, China is being praised for its disastrous response and its shameless lies. This goes to show how far we've come in 17 years. The world, following the guidance of the United Nations, has decided to support a communist dictatorship that oppresses its people and manages to keep Muslims in concentration camps without much criticism. Meanwhile, the little democratic republic known as Taiwan is being shunned by the entire global community.

Taiwan has been trying to escape China's ominous shadow for at least one hundred years. It has been occupied by Japan and gone through its own growing pains with civil war and dictatorship. It wasn't until 1987 that Taiwan officially began to evolve into a burgeoning democracy based on civil rights, equality and capitalism. In 2007, Taiwan's government voted to give the country and its people a separate identity from China. In 2016, Taiwan elected its first female president.

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To this day, China's communist dictatorship has refused to acknowledge Taiwan's independence from China. To this day, China has been using its influence within the United Nations to keep Taiwan out of the organization.

Most people are unaware that the little island republic has been excluded from the United Nations since it was kicked out by a China-backed resolution in 1971. It wasn't until this month, when I edited a submission to Poletical, that I realized Taiwan had no representation at the UN. I was shocked to find out. More so, I was shocked at myself for never knowing that—until I realized that most of the people I know didn't know either. Ask your friends and family if they know—or ever knew—that Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations. I bet some of them might even think Taiwan is a part of China.

We have to wonder why so few of us knew that Taiwan is being excluded from the UN, or why some people still think Taiwan is a part of China.

Furthermore, we have to wonder why there was no outrage in 2017 when the United Nations began excluding Taiwan from the World Health Organization in every capacity. Up until 2017, Taiwan had observer status. Now, Taiwan is entirely excluded from participating in the WHO or receiving pertinent information from the organization. In the midst of this new pandemic, we have to wonder where the media has been on this issue.

Not only is Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO unethical, it's undemocratic.

Western media, once a torch-bearer for Taiwan and its democratic principles, has been silent for the larger part of a decade. They were silent when the UN expelled Taiwan from the WHO in 2017 and they were silent when news emerged that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmissions of the Coronavirus on December 31, 2019.

For the most part, the mainstream media has been silent about the intimidation tactics of China against Taiwan. When I say mainstream media, I mean the shock-and-awe news networks like CNN and Fox News. Smaller and less conspicuous publications have taken note of China's aggression against Taiwan, but most of those publications—like The Economist and Time—aren't being consumed and digested on the same level as major, televised news networks. Their worthy news articles about Chinese aggression tend to go mostly unnoticed and ignored by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and CBC.

Make no mistake about it, while the mainstream news networks infect our brains with COVID-19 fear and panic, China is intimidating Taiwan. The Economist reported this on April 8: “With The World Distracted, China Intimidates Taiwan”.

On April 1, The New York Post reported:

In yet another telling aspect of Beijing’s response to the global coronavirus crisis, China is now busy bullying Taiwan.

Beijing has always claimed sovereignty over the island, even though the democratic republic has largely dropped its claim to be the mainland’s legitimate government. But China’s rulers seem especially eager to intimidate Taiwan in the wake of the global pandemic that began in Hubei Province.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, China in early February flew a number of H-6 bombers over the sea just southwest of the island and then into the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines.

The next month, Beijing sent several J-11 jet fighters and KJ-500 early-warning aircraft over waters southwest of Taiwan, nearing the country’s air-defense zone.

The mainland described the latter incursion as carrying out “air-ground assault and fire support drills to further refine and test” combat capabilities.

You haven't heard any of these stories reported on CNN, CBC or MSNBC. All you've heard from the mainstream news is stories about anti-Chinese racism and flooded hospitals in New York. There's virtually no information on any televised news network about what China has been doing to Taiwan since the Coronavirus started wreaking havoc.

"We have to wonder why so few of us knew that Taiwan is being excluded from the UN..."

Up until now, you probably had no idea about the email sent to the WHO by the Taiwanese government and its health officials in December. Had it not been for some brave European journalists and Taiwan's free, democratic system, none of us would have ever found out. The WHO and Tedros Adhanom would have kept it sealed and secured, just like they did until news about the email finally broke in late March because of a few fed up Taiwanese officials and French journalists.

The bottom line is that Taiwan is a free and independent democratic nation. Up until the last decade, the United States and Canada have publicly supported Taiwan and propped up its military—much to the chagrin of China. The US still sends arms to Taiwan, but the fanfare is minimal and there is always a sympathetic and apologetic tone exchanged with China. Both Canada and the United States have shipped oil to China and attempted to strengthen their economic fortunes by capitalizing on China's growing demand for fossil fuels. All while this has been happening, China has grown stronger and more brave.

It's time for Canadian and American leaders to back Taiwan again. If we are going to pride ourselves on our democratic principles, we can't continue to prop up and appease China. It's time for all political parties in North America to officially—and publicly—signal their support for Taiwan. It's time for Canadians to turn off the CBC and to start reading other sources of news online. As we put pressure on our leaders to back Taiwan, our mainstream media will eventually follow suit. Using the power of influence and the mainstream media's obsession with ratings and clicks, we can set the world straight again.

© 2020 Poletical