Home WritersEditorial Winning hearts means showing that you accept them

Winning hearts means showing that you accept them

Guilherme Rego

The DPP was elected by the Taiwanese people for the third time in a row, something unprecedented on the island. Curiously, this is the political party that puts the most obstacles in the way of Beijing’s defense of the “One China” principle. Relations have been less than stellar; there has even been a breakdown in communication since 2016, when Tsai secured what was to be the first of three DPP terms. The United States soon took advantage of the deterioration in relations and has supported Taiwan in its struggle for higher degrees of autonomy – always in an “unofficial” way and reiterating that it does not support independence. At the same time, it doesn’t allow Beijing to interfere in elections and is arming Taiwan to the teeth.

Beijing, of course, is not sitting still. Military exercises in the Taiwan Strait have become more frequent and official speeches more aggressive, mentioning the use of force if necessary. What is certain is that Beijing’s campaign has had no effect. We are facing a “new” government that, despite wanting relations with Beijing, is not interested in changing the status quo in Taiwan. In fact, neither of the other two political parties are, despite having better relations with China.

Xi seems to be changing tack. This Monday he called on the Chinese Communist Party to win the hearts of the Taiwanese. In other words, Beijing cannot be seen as the “big bad wolf” who wants to invade, take away rights and freedoms. But it still doesn’t have a strategy that coincides with the interests of the Taiwanese population. It has tried to sell the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, but all the political parties reject this hypothesis. In fact, the DPP said that the application of the principle in Hong Kong was a “total failure”, looking at what the political reforms were during the pandemic. To win hearts, you must show that you accept them as they are. For Taiwan, only a model from scratch would work.

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Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

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