Paper: Stronger Ties Needed to Bolster Taiwan

Paper: Stronger Ties Needed to Bolster Taiwan

Flag of Taiwan
Photo by: Courtesy

For Taiwan to survive as a democracy, it must continue to strengthen ties with the West and China’s other regional adversaries, writes the author of a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army as part of its Land Warfare series.

“Preserving Peace and Democracy in Taiwan” was authored by Victoria Djou, a former AUSA intern who is a junior at the University of Virginia majoring in foreign affairs with a Chinese minor. She is currently studying abroad at National Chengchi University in Taiwan.

While giving in to China’s demand for reunification may seem to be the simplest, most peaceful solution for preventing war, “it comes at a huge cost both for the people of Taiwan and for global stability,” Djou writes.

“Preserving the integrity of Taiwan’s healthy, vibrant democracy is in the best interest of the United States and its partners,” Djou writes. She pointed to Taiwan’s presidential election, slated for January, as an anxiously awaited event that will “help to determine the trajectory of Taiwan’s democracy in the face of long-standing tensions with China.”

China’s president, Xi Jinping, she writes, has repeatedly stated his intention to reunite China “as a unipolar power” in Asia, a prospect that, if achieved, would have far reaching effects on multiple fronts, including the global supply chain, international relations and the lives of Taiwanese citizens.

Djou points to China’s 2020 “crackdown” in Hong Kong as proof that China, which has stated that it desires a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, would not respect a “one country, two systems” framework. Rather, civil freedoms would be curbed, and China’s values would be “hardhandedly” imposed, Djou writes.

“To this end, China uses both soft and hard power to demonstrate to the world that it will not accept any form of Taiwanese independence,” she writes.

In its quest to maintain long-term peace and solidify its democracy, Djou writes, Taiwan must work to become closer to other nations and “form new partnerships with neighboring countries that have a mutual interest in restraining” China and its power-hungry president.

“Only by strengthening diplomatic relations among Taiwan, the West and China’s other regional adversaries can both peace and democracy survive in Taiwan,” Djou writes.

Read the paper here.