Thursday, April 2, 2020

Beijing's embarrassment over the Taiwan election

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How to speak about a presidential election which takes place in a country which does not exist? For Chinese leaders and media, talking about Taiwan is a puzzle. Besides, President Xi Jinping did not make the slightest reference to Taiwan during his vows on December 31, 2019. It is true that his very offensive speech to his “Taiwanese compatriots” of January 2, 2019 is at the origin of the Renewed popularity of the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, at the head of the pro-independence Progressive Democratic Party (DPP).

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen in a position of strength for the presidential election

Suddenly, it is the big favorite of the poll which takes place this Saturday, January 11. This year, on January 2, only Liu Jieyi, director of the Taiwanese Affairs Bureau, took up his pen in People's Daily, the official body of the Chinese Communist Party, to recall the importance of the message delivered a year earlier in which Xi Jinping did not rule out the use of force to "reunite" Taiwan and China. Liu Jieyi also took stock of the year 2019 concerning relations between the two sides of the strait without, at any time, mentioning the January 11, 2020 election.

Of course, in the Chinese media, Tsai Ing-wen is never called president. When they cannot do otherwise, they evoke "executive power", as The Beijing Daily who on December 30 denounced "Green terror" (color of the DPP) during the examination by the Taiwanese deputies of a law against foreign interference in the political life of the island. Readers of China Daily, daily newspaper in English must read between the lines: the situation on the island has worsened since Tsai "Took office" but we do not know what functions it occupies.

"Regional elections"

"The island must elect its next leader on Saturday and the future of cross-strait relations will largely depend on the result", recognizes this newspaper which, in an editorial of January 7, denounces the "Separatist" who "Undermine the well-being of Taiwanese compatriots". Note that this daily newspaper no longer indicates that the principle "one country, two systems" which governs relations between Hong Kong and mainland China must also apply in the future to relations between Taiwan and China. This analysis made by Xi Jinping in January 2019 is, since the troubles in Hong Kong, put in brackets by Beijing.

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