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'Taiwan election intervention' a total deception

By Wang Hailiang | | Updated: 2023-12-21 07:17
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The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Southeast China's Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

Sandra Oudkirk, director of the "American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei Office", recently claimed that Taiwan has been at the receiving end of severe cyberattacks which have not only impacted Taiwan residents' daily lives but also undermined the island's "democratic system". She also accused the Chinese mainland of interfering in the island's 2024 elections.

Claiming that Oudkirk is right, Lai Ching-te, a "Taiwan independence" advocate, said that her remarks once again demonstrate "US support for Taiwan", and urged the island's residents to be aware of the mainland's "interference" in the elections.

Such remarks by US officials are nothing but attempts to divert attention from real issues, giving people like Lai the opportunity to take advantage of the situation to deceive voters. It is therefore necessary to make clear certain facts.

When it comes to interference in Taiwan's elections, one cannot help but ask who is actually doing so? The answer becomes clear if we analyze the remarks and actions of US officials and Taiwan politicians. Don't the interviews of members of Taiwan's major political parties by media outlets in the US constitute an interference in the elections?

Also, Laura Rosenberger, the "chairperson of the American Institute in Taiwan", has visited Taiwan three times since taking office in March this year, frequently meeting with different candidates. What is the purpose behind her visits and meetings? These visits are conducted for "on-site inspections" and misguiding the people.

In addition, some US scholars have written articles in influential publications, giving "weighty" suggestions aimed at influencing the elections. Oudkirk's remarks, in fact, go beyond her official role, and legitimize the Democratic Progressive Party's hype about the mainland "interfering" in the island's "internal affairs", are in themselves interferences the elections with the intention of misleading voters.

It must be emphasized that the island's elections are purely China's internal affair which brooks no interference by external or other forces. During the meeting between the Chinese and US heads of state in San Francisco, Washington made a solemn political commitment to China on the Taiwan question.

As a responsible country, the US should honor its words, fulfill its commitments, refrain from supporting "Taiwan independence" forces and avoid sending wrong signals to Taiwan separatists. But the US continues to say one thing and do another, frequently interfering in Taiwan's elections and trying to cover up its own misdeeds by baselessly accusing the mainland of interfering in the island's elections. US officials have been doing this for decades and hence it is an open secret today.

Lai's endorsement of Oudkirk's baseless accusations is aimed at confusing the concepts of Taiwan and "Taiwan independence". His advocacy for "Taiwan independence" has caused great concern among Taiwan residents and made Americans uneasy. In fact, his endorsement of Oudkirk's accusations has poisoned his election campaign.

During her visit to Taiwan in October, Rosenberger said that the US opposes unilateral changes to the status quo, and asserted that the US does not support "Taiwan independence", and instead calls for a dialogue between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

But Lai conveniently forgot to mention the US' stance against "Taiwan independence" and selectively used the phrase "US support for Taiwan" to deceive the public and garner votes for himself in the upcoming elections. In reality, whether the US "supports Taiwan" or not is determined by the US' interests. Accordingly, for the US, Taiwan is nothing more than a pawn on its strategic chessboard to be used to contain Beijing, and can be sacrificed any time.

The poorly orchestrated act performed by Oudkirk and Lai raises questions about their underlying motives, which Taiwan residents should ponder over. Is the US "supporting Taiwan" or "harming Taiwan", and are the DPP authorities "protecting Taiwan" or "bringing disaster to Taiwan"? I hope Taiwan residents get to know the reality and make a rational judgment, and not fall for the tricks of Lai and his ilk.

The author is director of the Shanghai Institute of East Asia Studies.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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