Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, described Taiwan’s “landslide” re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen as a victory for freedom around the world, offering his analysis in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday with host Matt Boyle.
Allowing China to seize Taiwan would greenlight the one-party state’s ambitions for “global hegemony,” stated Fisher.
“The reason why this election is just so critically important to all free people is this: When China conquers Taiwan, that will be the go signal for China to begin to conquer the world, to impose its will on the world, [and] to physically occupy many of the countries around its border and turn them into appendages of China’s greater empire.”
Fisher continued, “China uses Taiwan as a battering ram to force both free and unfree countries around the world to compromise their sovereignty. When a country agrees to enter into a relationship with China — the Chinese Communist Party of China — that country must also submit to Beijing’s demands that they never recognize Taiwan and conform to all of Beijing’s demands regarding their relationship with Taiwan, which today is getting very extreme.”
Fisher noted China’s application of financial pressures against global companies to comply with its political positioning.
“China is demanding that the world’s airlines change their web pages to conform with the Communist Party’s sensitivities,” observed Fisher. “If you fly a Taiwan flag anywhere — or even put it on a wall, someplace — they will find it, and scream to high heaven until your school, your company, or your government does what they want.”
The Chinese government’s political weaponization of telecommunications and surveillance technology, including its development and use of a “social credit” system to force political compliance among its subjects, amounts to a burgeoning “digital dictatorship,” assessed Fisher.
China’s cultivates relationships of financial dependence with other states and non-state actors, including Taiwan, explained Fisher.
“Starting in the 1980s, China opened Fujian province and neighboring provinces to investment from Taiwan, and this just grew hand-over-fist in the 90s and 2000s, so the Taiwanese economy has a sizable dependence on its presence in China,” remarked Fisher. “The Democratic Progressive Party has long seen this as a liability and has championed the go-south policy to try and diversify Taiwanese investments and create more economic security.”
President Donald Trump broke a decades-long trend of presidents appeasing China, explained Fisher.
“As for the United States, what we have really seen — and this is just so important, and a change for which all Americans can be proud — is that President Trump has led a new overarching policy regarding Taiwan [and] Taiwan’s democracy as a political [and] economic asset for the United States,” Fisher said.
Fisher continued, “We’re no longer afraid to hold Taiwan high as an example for others, we’re no longer afraid to criticize China for its various threats and attempts to interfere and to undermine Taiwan’s democracy, and this is quite a change from earlier administrations.”
Fisher reflected, “Even the Reagan administration, which continued policies laid down by Jimmy Carter, was quite conflicted. You had a large number of bureaucrats, especially in the State Department, who basically hoped that Taiwan would disappear. Essentially, this was the strategy that had been created under Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. We would switch our relations from Taiwan to China in the hopes that Taiwan would get the message and join big brother. But Taiwan viewed that line of thought as an utter betrayal and turned around, and instead of trying to find the best deal with their executioner, they turned around and transformed themselves from an authoritarian state into a real democracy.”
China’s subterfuge against America includes the deployment of spies in the United States masquerading as students, Fisher noted.
Fisher concluded, “It’s a lesson for all Americans that we should never deny the right of freedom to any other nation or group of people. If they come together and decide and choose freedom and democracy, we should support them in any way that we can.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.