Taiwan’s example counters apologists for authoritarianism



The U.S. State Department has reportedly requested the deployment of Marines (HT:CFR) to protect the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan. The move comes against a background of China’s growing belligerence over Taiwan’s independence and democracy.

Beijing’s protest over a Japanese newspaper report was today criticized as a clear infringement on freedom of speech and freedom of the press:

The newspaper ran an exclusive interview with Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (right) in which he urged the Japanese government to consider a security dialogue with Taiwan in light of the rising challenges of mainland China. Wu also made clear that the Democratic Progressive Party government will not accept Beijing’s “one China” principle, and criticized Beijing for poaching Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and for “seriously threatening the universal values of freedom and democracy.”

Taiwanese nationals and officials posted overseas this week took to the streets in Brussels (above) to protest China’s ‘bullying.’

President Tsai Ing-wen used the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) to tout the island’s democratic achievements.

Taiwan’s example helps counter the argument used by apologists for authoritarianism who point to the Arab Spring or to backsliding Asian countries like Thailand and the Philippines to claim that democracy brings chaos,” said National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman.

“Taiwan shows that democracy can bring economic progress and human fulfillment,” he told the TFD forum, highlighting the importance of Taiwan’s Democratic example in Asia and beyond. RTWT.

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