Outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou (left) meets with President-elect Tsai Ing-wen
(Credit R.O.C. Presidential Office)
Taiwan’s vibrant democracy stands in stark contrast to the one-party Communist tyranny in China.
This year’s free and open election brought a remarkable political change to Taiwan, with the Democratic Progressive Party replacing the Kuomintang Party in a historic election where the voters elected Taiwan’s first woman president, Tsai Ing-wen.
The inauguration will be held on May 20, and President Obama should personally attend, and to use the occasion to speak out in favor of free elections, particularly in Communist China.
Taiwan’s elections and the inauguration offer an inspiration for citizens in the Peoples Republic of China, where parliamentary elections are not only forbidden, but the regime’s propaganda paints free elections and democracy as counter to Chinese culture. That lie is exposed with every election and every voter who proudly fills out a ballot in Taiwan. The truth is that tyranny is incompatible with Chinese culture.
China is a master of asymmetric responses, and only respects strength, not weakness. Peaceful support for Taiwan and democracy in China will help avert what could otherwise explode into a Third World War, as nations around the world could be forced by China’s aggression to each seize and militarize sections of international oceans and seas to protect their trading routes.
Liberals may equate responses to foreign aggression with escalation, however exercising peaceful diplomatic leverage can help reduce the threat of war. Peace through strength works. China is preparing for war to seize the South China Sea and sovereign territories, and the U.S. has the responsibility to send the message that the United States stands with 400 years of international law and practice of the freedom of the seas.
The message sent to Beijing by the President attending Taiwan’s inauguration would be unmistakable: Continue preparations for war to seize the South China Sea, and the U.S. will offer greater support and protection to Taiwan, and encourage PRC citizens to exercise their fundamental rights to elect their own leaders.
Mr. President, please show your support for democracy, freedom, and for one of America’s most loyal allies, and attend Taiwan’s historic inauguration.
P.S. If Beijing won’t let the USS Stennis visit Hong Kong, perhaps a port visit to Taipei or Kaohsiung would change their mind.