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RFA Commentary: China Paid a Big Price to Lure Diplomatic Allies into Not Recognizing Taiwan

RFA published a commentary article about China’s actions in dealing with Taiwan’s allies. Chen Pokong, a well-known Chinese commentator wrote the article which was titled, “Chinese People Pay Big Price When China Lures Away Taiwan’s Diplomatic Allies.” The article stated that China has lured away four of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies since Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016. The last one was Burkina Faso, an African country with a population of 20 million. Burkina Faso claimed that China had offered it US$50 billion in January 2017, but that it declined the offer. Chen estimated that if China paid a minimum US$50 billion per country, it would have cost China US$200 billion for four countries or an average of US$156 per Chinese citizen. If China were to be successful in luring away the rest of 18 countries that have diplomatic ties to Taiwan, it would cost China an amount that is greater than the entire “One Belt One Road” project and the equivalent of 10 percent of China’s annual GDP while the Chinese people have no say in any of these decisions.

Chen suggested that Taiwan does not need to compete with China in spending the money but rather it should put more effort into building a stronger relationship with the U.S., Japan, the European countries, India, and other countries. Chen listed a number of recent events in which Taiwan gained international support when it faced continuous threats from China. They include the following situations. When China tried to stop Taiwan from attending the World Health Organization conference, many countries stood up to support Taiwan. When China lured countries away from having diplomatic relations with Taiwan, more U.S. congressional members and politicians voiced their support.  When China increased the presence of its military airplanes and warships near Taiwan, the U.S. increased military cooperation with Taiwan. Because China increased its threats against Taiwan over the past two years, in July 2016, the U.S. Congress passed “Six Guarantees for Taiwan.” Trump signed the “Taiwan Travel Act” in March 2018. When Congress initiated the “Taiwan Defense Evaluation Commission Act” in May of 2018, Congressmen Cory Gardner and Ed Markey co-sponsored the “Taiwan International Participation Act of 2018” that same month. Chen concluded that (if China goes too far on Taiwan) it is very possible that Trump, who is known for his unique style and unpredictability, could decide to invite Tsai Ing-wen for a visit at the White House, which could be quite embarrassing for Xi and his administration.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 28, 2018