On Tuesday, the mayor of Prague, Zdenek Hrib, expressed his support for Taiwan on Twitter amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the country. In a clearly targeted reference to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hrib wrote, “I am appalled that the policy is hindering the delivery of vaccines to Taiwan. Prague supports Taiwan and our sister city Taipei. Hrib is known to be friendly to Taiwan, as are other Czech politicians, including Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil, who said “I am a Taiwanese” in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on September 1 last year.
For this, he was threatened by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (cela), and although Wang, then visiting Europe, was subsequently urged to avoid such behavior, European leaders reacted little. .
On Wednesday last week, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳 釗 燮) attended a forum hosted by the European Values Center for Security Policy in Prague, triggering a complaint from the Chinese Embassy in Prague. Czech lawmaker Jakub Janda, executive director of the center, replied curtly to the complaint on Twitter: “We don’t care about your opinion of our event, you won’t dictate who our friends and guests are. Taiwan is our ally.
These are small indications that the worm is spinning. If politicians, such as Taiwan’s friends in Prague, show their growing distaste for the CCP’s ways of intimidation and domination, then it is finally the case for those who are on the biggest stage of major international forums such as than the G7 summit which ended on Sunday. In the joint summit communiqué, US and European participants issued a historic rebuke to China and – significantly – mentioned Taiwan, the first time G7 leaders have done so.
Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co in international supply chains, exacerbated by the realization of the need to reorganize and protect them, have helped heighten the nation’s profile on the world stage.
However, to a large extent, it is the CCP’s threatening behavior and its “wolf war diplomacy” that has placed Taiwan under such scrutiny as an example of democratic values and the importance of its geopolitical strategic value and technology for an international community increasingly concerned about the rise of China.
Taiwan has long known that the CCP is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) let the façade slip, revealing his true nature to the rest of the world. Xi’s recent exhortation to officials to soften the party’s image and make it more “trustworthy, kind and respectable” is remarkable as they are blind to the deterioration of confidence in the CCP. If the wolf tries to pull the wool over his shoulders, it will look foolish. The world knows what lies beneath.
Prior to the pandemic, Xi was making tremendous strides in portraying China and its China-centric international world order as an alternative to the US-led order that major European democracies have adhered to. Especially with the withdrawal of former US President Donald Trump from international alliances, Xi was laying the groundwork for portraying China as a responsible member of the international community capable of taking a leading role on issues such as multilateral cooperation, financial stability and global warming. The joint G7 communiqué indicates that this attempt is dead in the water.
It would be naive to think that everything was rosy within the EU and in its relations with the United States, as the bloc is unsure of the ability of the United States to continue to be a stable and reliable ally. , following the stress tests imposed on this relationship by Trump’s isolationism. However, the CCP is the fresh mortar that holds the fragile edifice together: Xi has given them a common cause.
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