Taiwan Vice President Vows to Fight Authoritarianism During US Stop

    Taiwan Vice President Vows to Fight Authoritarianism During US Stop
    Last updated Aug 14, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • During an official transit stop in New York on Sunday, Taiwanese Vice President William Lai stated that Taipei would "not be scared nor cower" in the face of the "threat of authoritarianism."
    • Lai, expected to run for the presidency in January 2024, said he was "very willing" to engage in talks with China to "seek peace and stability."
    • Lai's speech was also attended by the managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan, a US government-run nonprofit that assists in maintaining unofficial diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
    • Lai transited through the US on Saturday to attend the inauguration of Paraguayan President-elect Santiago Peña on Tuesday. Paraguay is one of only 12 nations still holding diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan.
    • After Lai visits Paraguay, a second transit stop is scheduled on Wednesday in San Fransisco. Although the US and Taiwan have labeled the stops routine, China's Taiwan Affairs Office accused Lai of betraying Taiwan "for his own selfish personal gain."
    • Following Taiwan Pres. Tsai Ing-wen's meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on a stopover visit in April, China allegedly staged war games around Taiwan.


    Pro-China narrative

    The US' acceptance of Taiwan officials' transit stops goes against Washington's recognition of the One-China policy. Lai's pro-independence stance is just a distraction from the reality of his party's poor governance — and a sad attempt to win votes. However, his potential election victory will only damage relations across the Strait. Beijing should — and will — react strongly to continued attempts to undermine China's legitimate sovereignty over Taiwan.

    Anti-China narrative

    China continues to conduct aggressive military exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait, and subsequent regional tensions are only growing. While the US must help stabilize relations between Taiwan and China again, Washington must protect economic and political interests and provide sensible competition against Beijing. As military conflict must be avoided, maintaining the international status quo is necessary for the US' future.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 57% chance that China will successfully control Taiwan within three years, if they invade Taiwan before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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