Ever since President Tsai Ing-wen and her government refuse to confirm the so-called “1992 Consensus”, which China insists is the foundation for friendly cross-strait relationship, several incidents have happened to show us what happens when Taiwan stops going along with the “One China” principle. Tour groups from China have decreased, and China has been more aggressive in reducing Taiwan’s international participation. China could do that because it is a major international power and has a large and lucrative consumer market foreign companies want access to. Like most rich and powerful bullies, it can afford to bully Taiwan and get away with it, and certainly is not apologizing for any of it.
Here are just some of the more recent incidents that major international media don’t really report, and I am sure more will come:
On April 19, a 5-member Taiwanese delegation was ejected from a OECD steel committee meeting held in Brussels, Belgium. China claimed that Taiwan did not send officials with high enough rankings. Taiwan has been participating in the meeting since 1998 as an observer.
During the 32nd Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries in Rome, Italy on July 11-15, two Taiwanese officials were rejected from attending the meetings. China pressured the organizing committee to refuse anyone holding Taiwanese passports into the building. Taiwan has been participating as NGO members or experts since 2003.
At the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Team Taiwan was asked to replace the uniforms, as they featured a variation of the ROC National Emblem. China protested to the International Paralympic Committee and wanted the emblem to be changed to the KMT party emblem.
Taiwan has yet to receive an invitation to participate in the 39th International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly on September 27 in Montreal, Canada. Taiwan first participated in 2013 as a guest of the president of the ICAO Council, when cross-strait relationship was on friendlier terms.
Since April this year, hundreds of Taiwanese citizens accused of telecommunication fraud have been extradited or deported to China from Kenya, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Armenia. China claims to have jurisdiction as most of the victims were located in China.
It’s not easy standing up to China, especially when the rest of the world wants something from it. But take it from the Taiwanese people, what China can give, it can also take it away with a swift change of mind.