Taiwan local election shocks U.S. imperialism

Taiwan’s President Tsai and ruling DPP rebuffed by voters in local elections
Taiwan’s President Tsai and ruling DPP rebuffed by voters in local elections. | Photo: taiwannews.com.tw

By Chris Fry

On November 26, local elections were held throughout Taiwan, an island that has always been part of China, but since 1949 has been ruled by a fascist leadership driven out of the mainland by the victorious Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Taiwan has since been “protected” by the military U.S. fleet, while Taiwan’s rulers maintained 48 years of martial law and a brutal regime of “White Terror”. In 1987, the regime allowed bourgeois elections.

Before the 2022 elections, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, had campaigned for her ruling “Democratic Progressive Party” (DPP) candidates with the assertion that Taiwan is an independent nation, and should prepare to wage war. As a Nov. 25th CNN article describes:

Polls opened in Taiwan on Saturday in local elections that President Tsai Ing-wen has framed as being about sending a message to the world about the island’s determination to defend its democracy in the face of China’s rising bellicosity.

The local elections, for city mayors, county chiefs and local councilors, are ostensibly about domestic issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected do not have a direct say on China policy.

But Tsai has recast the election as being more than a local poll, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, which claims the island as its territory.

China carried out war games near Taiwan in August to express its anger at a visit to Taipei by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and its military activities have continued, though on a reduced scale.

Taiwan’s main opposition party the Kuomintang, or KMT, swept the 2018 local elections, and has accused Tsai and the DPP of being overly confrontational with China.

Election results a shock to the DPP and Washington

The results of the election were a major defeat for the pro-independence DPP and to Washington’s plans to attack the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As a British newsletter reported:

While Tsai’s personal brand as the quiet yet determined pro-democracy politician standing up to China has been a key component in Taiwan’s strengthening relationships overseas, her latest appeals appeared to fall flat with Taiwanese voters at home. Last Friday, Tsai’s party – the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – suffered one of its most significant electoral defeats in over thirty years. The more China-friendly rival Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) triumphed by winning 13 of 21 seats at the mayoral and magisterial levels, while the DPP only took five. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), a third party growing in popularity under founder and former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, won its first mayoral seat in the influential Hsinchu City, dealing another blow to the ruling DPP.

The results were so bad for the ruling DPP that President Tsai Ing-wen resigned her position as head of the party and will not run for reelection in 2024.

Washington has signaled it has no intention of allowing the people of Taiwan to slow down its drumbeat for war. A December 14th article from the U.S. Naval Institute describes U.S. Imperialism’s new aggressive stance:

The U.S. military must be able to deter China from taking over Taiwan by force, a provision in the compromise Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stipulates.

In accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. must “maintain the ability of the United States Armed Forces to deny a fait accompli against Taiwan in order to deter the People’s Republic of China from using military force to unilaterally change the status quo with Taiwan,” according to the policy bill’s explanatory statement.

Of course, the PRC has always considered Taiwan to be part of China. In 1979, in return for the PRC’s “opening up” of China to U.S. Big Business, the U.S. agreed to the “One China Policy”, clearly agreeing with the PRC position on the status of Taiwan.

But now China has become a powerful force in the world economy. It uses its socialist foundation to technically develop the country to an amazing degree. Through its “Silk Road” initiative, it offers a much brighter future to developing countries than Western Imperialism’s exploitation and weaponizing. That is why it has been targeted by the White House, Congress, and the mad generals at the Pentagon. The Naval Institute article continues:

The NDAA also includes language calling on both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, to help upgrade Taiwan’s military capabilities and its collaboration with the U.S. military.

The FY 2023 policy bill, which the House passed last week and is awaiting action from the Senate, also calls for the U.S. Navy to invite the Taiwan Navy to the Rim of the Pacific 2024 exercise. Taiwan did not participate in RIMPAC 2022 this summer.

Although the U.S.’ and Taiwan’s corporate media after the election downplayed the role of Taiwan’s relations to Taiwan and Washington’s pressing Taiwan into a new Ukraine-style proxy war against the PRC, it obviously played a key role to Taiwan’s people. An October article in gizmodo.com tells how government officials tried to discount reports that Washington was urging Taiwan to prepare to remove workers to the U.S. from the TSMC computer chip making factory as they spoke to Taiwan’s legislature:

The country’s defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng reportedly said ‘there is no such plot’ for the U.S. to start dropping bombs on TSMC factories if the country were invaded.

National Security Bureau Director-General] Chen further tried to tamp down on fears the U.S. is going to sap Taiwan’s top chipmaking minds from the country, calling those wargaming plans “just scenarios” while adding “If they understood TSMC’s ecosystem better, they would realize that it’s not as simple as they think. That’s why Intel can’t catch up with TSMC.

In fact, an article was written at the U.S. Army War College proposing that the U.S. urge Taiwan’s DPP government to plant bombs around the TSMC facility threatening to blow it up if were to fall into the hands of the PRC. Obviously, Washington’s “wargaming” has grown more and more unpopular among Taiwan’s people.

Statement from the PRC on Taiwan’s election: “Peace, stability and a good life”

A Nov. 27th report from Reuters details the position of the PRC government on the Taiwan election results:

China’s government said on Saturday the results of local elections in Taiwan “revealed that mainstream public opinion in the island is for peace, stability and a good life”, after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party performed badly.

China will continue to work with Taiwan’s people to promote peaceful relations and firmly oppose Taiwan independence and foreign interference, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency.

We who live in the “belly of the beast” must mobilize all the anti-war forces to oppose Washington’s push for a new  war directed against Socialist China.

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