In a recent interview with CNN Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said his nation “needs to prepare” for a possible military conflict, against China, as the communist regime continues to encroach into the island nation. His statements came less than a week after Taiwan reported “ the largest daily incursion by Chinese military planes into Taiwan’s self-declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).”
According to reports, 28 Chinese warplanes – including fighter jets and bombers — entered Taiwanese sovereign airspace. Reports stated that the action did not violate international law, but it was seen as show of strength by China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Personally, I would beg to differ that the actions of the CCP did not violate international law. However, there appears to be little Taiwan can do to target the Chinese Communist Party, which is a world super power, that has directed it’s military to display a show of strength against the small island nation. It is intimidation at the highest levels.
Dean Cheng, an expert on China’s military and space capabilities as a research fellow with The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., stated in a recent editorial that the bigger question is how will the United States react to China’s aggression against Taiwan?
Chen said that the U.S. relationship with Taiwan is built on trust and a close security commitment. He warned that
“failure to respond to an act of naked aggression by the PRC against Taiwan would raise real questions about American commitments to those treaty allies. Coming in within 10 years of U.S. failure to enforce the Syrian red line after Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons (when then Secretary of State John Kerry famously declared that Assad staying in power was a “non-starter”); and the inconclusive conclusion to the two-decade war in Afghanistan, American allies would rightfully wonder what the value of an American security commitment actually is.”
Chen is right. A Chinese victory over Taiwan will not only alter the geopolitical environment in the Far East but he stressed it would alter the geopolitical balance of power across the globe. There is also the issue, pointed out by Chen, that because the U.S. can’t “simply walk away from the people of Taiwan (the way the U.S. had in South Vietnam several years earlier), Congress enacted the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), to govern U.S. relations with the island.”
The TRA is a law, not quite the same as a binding treaty, such as those that undergird the NATO alliance or the commitments to Japan and South Korea. While the authors tried to approximate best they could the U.S.-ROC security treaty the TRA replaced, the TRA does not contain the treaty’s explicit commitment to “act to meet the common danger.”Dean Chen, The Heritage Foundation
He stressed that over the “past several years, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has demonstrated his willingness to flout both international treaties and ‘the good opinion of all mankind.’ The crackdown on Hong Kong is in direct contravention of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guaranteed a “high-degree of autonomy” for 50 years. That agreement seems to have expired over two decades early. “
“Above all, it would demonstrate that Beijing has concluded that the general status quo that has ruled the Taiwan Straits region for the last six decades is no longer acceptable. Threats, coercion, and intimidation are already testing that status quo, but an open invasion—which would jeopardize not only the population of Taiwan but the thousands of Americans, Japanese, Europeans and others who are living on the island—would indicate that Beijing has truly changed its view of its intended relations with the rest of Asia and the world,” states Chen.
As for Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu, he stressed Taiwan must “be prepared.” I say based on what we are seeing with regards to China’s aggression globally the west needs to be prepared as it navigates new political waters and an apparent shift and power play by the Chinese Communist Party.
“As Taiwan decision makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared,” Wu told CNN in Taipei on Wednesday. “When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real.” Wu, who has served as minister of foreign affairs since 2018, was accused by Beijing in May of being a “diehard separatist” after remarks he made during a news conference that Taiwan would fight “to the very last day” if attacked by China.CNN Exclusive interview
For more on this story go here.
You can follow Sara Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC
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REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent
China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.
But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”
The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients. According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”
Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.
The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.
Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.
The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”
Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.
According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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