onsdag 12. januar 2022

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: China Is Using Economic Coercion as Blackmail. The US and EU Must Fight Back

For decades, Taiwan has been walking a fine line that broadly suited everyone: neither being part of mainland China, nor officially declaring independence. The People's Republic of China could maintain its claim over it. Yet Taiwan was free to develop as a vibrant liberal democracy and modern economy. And the democratic world was able to develop ties with both, so long as they steered clear of the sovereignty issue and adhered to the so-called 'One China' policy.

But that has changed. Through its actions and the rhetoric of its Secretary-General Xi, China has shown it is no longer willing to accept this status quo. Likewise, the free world needs to rethink its approach. During Secretary-General Xi's term as leader, Beijing has ramped up the hybrid attacks on Taiwan. It targets Taiwan's democracy with disinformation. It throws its diplomatic weight around the world stage to coerce multilateral bodies and institutions to leave Taiwan out in the cold. And it has launched increasingly aggressive and dangerous military incursions into Taiwan's airspace.

China is actively threatening democratic Taiwan. To date, many in the free world have turned a blind eye to this. They feared Beijing's threats and economic coercion, and they have been willing to go along with China's unilateral efforts to redefine and corrupt what Beijing now calls the "One China principle." Beijing wants it to mean that no other country can have any economic or political relations with Taipei.

We cannot allow that to happen.