Former Minister of Health, Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), responsible for Taiwan island’s covid policy, ran for the Mayor of Taipei, and was thoroughly trounced. By KJ of SF Bay Area China Group 11/26/22
So much for the much-vaunted, super-successful”Taiwan Covid policy” that the Western MSM likes to brag about.
The voters didn’t think much of Taiwan’s Antony Fauci and his Covid “successes”–that only the Western press seems to have discerned–and sent him packing. https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2022/11/27/2003789683
Guardian spinning hard: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/26/taiwan-local-election-polls-2024-presidential-election
Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly chose the opposition Nationalist party in several major races across the self-ruled island in an election in which lingering concerns about threats from China took a backseat to more local issues. Translation: Voters ignored DPP threat inflation or rejected it
Tsai made this local election about international issues: “defending Taiwan from China”. Her party was thoroughly trounced. https://apnews.com/article/taiwan-china-5961a55b01706318c3187ed292f70d0f
Anti-China media tries to spin this as a purely local affair, but it’s not possible to deny this as a critique of the DPP’s foreign policy. Tsai made it a vote about China. https://www.wionews.com/videos/taiwan-local-elections-president-tsai-ing-wen-campaigns-for-city-mayors-537595
Tsai will finish her term in 2024, but she is seriously hobbled. It’s hard not to see this as a referendum on her China-baiting “independence” policy, her hosting of Pelosi, her alignment with Ukrainian fascism (see below), her “Southbound strategy” (which has resulted in the enslavement of thousands of Taiwanese in SEA), and her selling out the crown jewels of TSMC to the US (that the founder of TSMC opposed).
“…Kuomintang (KMT) stomped home to victory in local elections on Saturday as President Tsai Ing-wen’s efforts to frame the vote as being about showing defiance to China’s rising bellicosity failed to pay off.
The KMT was taking the lead or claimed victory in 13 of the 21 city mayor and county chief seats up for grabs, including the capital Taipei, compared to the DPP’s five, broadly in line with expectations and similar to the results of the last local elections in 2018.
The elections for mayors, county chiefs and local councillors are ostensibly about domestic issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected will not have a direct say on China policy. But Ms Tsai, who leads the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), had recast the election as being more than a local vote, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, which claims the island as its territory.” https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/taiwan-president-tsai-ing-wen-resigns-as-party-leader-over-election-results/buhkxtom8
Tsai Ing-Wen’s speech at the Bush center, sponsored by the NED & CIA 1 week ago: https://www.bushcenter.org/publications/the-struggle-for-freedom-remarks-from-taiwan-president-tsai-ing-wen
transcript of President Tsai Ing-wen’s remarks.
President Bush, Madam First Lady, distinguished speakers and guests. Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I would like to begin my talk by thanking the George W. Bush Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Freedom House for inviting me to speak at this important event on the threats freedom faces, and how we can advance liberty worldwide.
Just a couple of weeks ago, in recognition of the unprecedented challenge facing democracy and its advocates, Taiwan hosted the 11th Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy. With our partner, the National Endowment for Democracy, we welcomed more than 200 advocates of democracy, some of whom have devoted their lives to this work, and others who have recently started careers advancing this cause. These supporters of democracy make connections and strategized on how we all can work together better to make democracy stronger and more resilient.
At this Global Assembly, we had the special honor of welcoming parliamentarians and members of civil society from Ukraine. I had the pleasure of meeting them and of speaking to them in person. They came not only with stories of courage, but also with warnings. Though he was held back by the war, Chairman Oleksandr Merezhko of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee still appeared online at the Assembly to share his assessment that, “The grand strategy of authoritarian regimes is to divide and destroy democracies one by one.” He also summed up the response that we must adopt, that is, “The rallying cry from all democracies must be one for all and all for one.”
In addition, this past August, Taiwan organized the Regional Religious Freedom Forum. Participants from across the Indo-Pacific shared their stories and advocacy experiences, and discussed how to secure the right to practice one’s faith at a time when religious freedom around the world is being curtailed by authoritarian powers.
These recent events are just part of why I am very pleased to see Mr. Wilson, Dr. Twining, Mr. Abramowitz, and Mr. Turkel among the speakers at this important gathering on the global struggle for freedom. Their presence at this conference can serve as an inspiration to our existing collaborations. I hope you all can learn from their experiences in Taiwan while you formulate ways to push back against authoritarian threats and utilize “technology to secure the future of freedom”.
I want to reiterate here that this conference on the world’s struggle for freedom could not have convened at a more significant time, as democracies and the rules-based international order are being challenged on a daily basis. As we work to resolve the lingering effects of the pandemic on the global economy and health, the fluid political situation in many countries around the world have only added to the already long list of challenges before us.
The dangerous potential of authoritarian regimes to corrode democratic institutions and tarnish human rights and civic space cannot be ignored. Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine serves as a prime example. This war is proof that dictatorships will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal of expansionism.
Regretfully, the Taiwanese people are very familiar with such aggression, and we have our own experience with the struggle for freedom. Only about three decades ago, members of civil society in Taiwan took to the streets. They protested and advocated for the lifting of martial law. They asked for more political and social rights for the citizens, and they advocated for the democratization of Taiwan. At the heart of this struggle was the embrace of democracy, a choice that the Taiwanese people fought for after decades of authoritarian rule. And once the Taiwanese people took this path, there was no turning back.
In recent years, the beautiful island we call home has been confronted by increasingly aggressive threats from our authoritarian neighbor, the People’s Republic of China. From daily military intimidations, gray zone activities, and influence operations, to cyber attacks and periodic attempts at economic coercion, China has taken a range of actions with the goal of creating doubt and undermining confidence in what the Taiwanese people have worked so diligently for, that is, our democratic way of life.
But the people of Taiwan continue to meet these persistent threats with calm and composure. And the Taiwanese people have never shied away from utilizing their skills and expertise to counter authoritarian interference. For Taiwan, democracy is more than a fundamental value that unites our people; it is also a critical asset in addressing major challenges. Taiwan is now in the position to share its experience with the world and create alliances, allowing democracies to more effectively deal with crises, and counter the threats of authoritarianism.
As we observe Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine from the other side of the world, Taiwan has been honored to play a role in assisting Ukraine in its struggle to defend its sovereignty and freedom. Together with like-minded partners, we will also make efforts to support Ukraine’s reconstruction of its schools, hospitals, and infrastructure that have been destroyed by the war.
Our efforts must not stop here. The menacing behavior of authoritarian regimes should be a wake-up call to all democracies. We must work together to strengthen our resilience and safeguard our values. But we can only achieve this goal with ample understanding of authoritarian tactics. That is why I’m pleased to learn that the George W. Bush Institute is already tackling important tasks such as combating disinformation, reducing corruption that fuels authoritarian governments, supporting civic renewal, and advancing human rights as national security.
With all these ongoing efforts, we can now work together on countering and reducing influence exerted by authoritarian regimes worldwide. We must also strengthen the alliance of democracies to safeguard and serve the interests of the international community. I know there is an important panel in this conference on how the United States can help support democracy and human rights. US administrations and members of Congress have always been staunch supporters of Taiwan’s democratization and the democratic institutions we now enjoy. I hope Taiwan, along with the US, can now lend its support to those struggling to advocate for democracy and human rights in other countries.
Before I conclude, I want to take this opportunity to thank the United States for its unwavering support for Taiwan, and thank the U.S. Congress for passing legislation to help ensure Taiwan’s security. Of course, I also want to thank President Bush and the George W. Bush Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Freedom House for the invitation to speak. As Ukrainian parliamentarian Kira Rudik told us why she was in Taiwan, she said, “History is teaching us over and over again that unpunished and unremedied evil deeds will return.” Let us work together to ensure that the expansionist deeds of authoritarian states neither flourish nor return. Thank you very much.
Professor Ling-Chi Wang of UC Berkeley: Even Tsai Ing-wen and Joe Biden are not on the ballot in Taiwan’s local elections yesterday, they are the biggest losers. The candidates of Tsai, as the chair of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in the county and city elections, campaigned uniformly on Tsai’s slogan, 抗中护台, oppose China and defend Taiwan, and in the final weeks of the campaign, Tsai vigorously and repeatedly declared that voting for the KMT candidates meant voting for Xi Jinping. In other words, she turned the elections into a referendum on herself against Xi and urged the voters to overwhelmingly reject Xi and China. She was following the marching order from Washington, DC: President Biden, the U.S. Congress, and the mainstream media in the U.S. that China was the most serious threat to Taiwan, the U.S., and the world, a fiction they concocted to demonize and generate fearing hatred of Mainland China and Xi Jinping.
Well, they were wrong: they misread the sentiment and perception of the voters in Taiwan; they drank the poisonous coolaide or medicine they concocted and they suffered the inevitable consequences.
A word of caution: On the surface, the KMT appeared to be the winner of the political landslide. Being badly divided, we still don’t know how the KMT will emerge as the ruling party and who will be the candidate for the presidency of Taiwan province in two years. The KMT for sure will reaffirm the 1992 Consensus between the Mainland and Taiwan. Exactly how to interpret of Consensus is very much disputed. Besides, howt the U.S. will manage and run Taiwan, regardless who is running the island, is still unknown. I hope the people in Taiwan, especially the KMT party, will learn from the outcomes of the elections and try to manage their relations with the Mainland in their best interest: engage with the Mainland based on the principles of the Consensus.