Friday, July 26, 2019

The Mice That Roared

Hong Kong protesters are inspiring Taiwanese to resist Chinese demands for absorption by the mainland communists:

The protests in Hong Kong which have reverberated around the world have had more impact on Taiwan than anywhere else.

The anxieties they triggered about Beijing's intentions toward Taiwan came to the boil in demonstrations in Taipei. On Sunday June 23, for example, a rally by around 5,000 mostly young people against Hong Kong's controversial extradition bill was followed by a much larger protest involving hundreds of thousands criticizing Chinese influence on Taiwan's media.

They urged the government to take action against the so-called "Red Media," a reference to local outlets purchased by business people with interests in China.

Taiwan and Hong Kong are natural allies. And they may need to go on offense to survive:

Hong Kong and Taiwan find they have much in common as Hong Kong clings to dwindling freedom with an expiration date and as Taiwan has built a free country under constant threat of having China crush that freedom. ...

China is massive and dictatorial while Taiwan and Hong Kong are free and claimed by China.

It may be that the only way for Taiwan and Hong Kong to retain their freedom is to end the dictatorship in Peking and hope that the Chinese people won't then want to destroy democracy.

Without specifically targeting China's party dictatorship, I suggested Taiwan should become the capital of democracy promotion:

Long ago I concluded that  League of Democracies as an alternative to the autocrat-riddent United Nations is not the solution to our problems in that body.

But why couldn't Taiwan host a League of Democracies on Taiwan to discuss the mechanics of democracy promotion and democracy practice?

It could be composed of nations, provinces/states, and cities that want to discuss these issues.

As a body discussing the concept of democracy in both state and sub-state actors, it would not run afoul of Chinese red lines about independence. China has offered one state with two systems to Hong Kong--although it really doesn't--and to Taiwan to ease resistance to Peking absorbing Taiwan. How could China oppose democracy as a concept apart from independence when it formally agrees?

Yet it would be a powerful symbol of resistance to Chinese efforts to deny Taiwan democracy.

Could enough Chinese on the mainland see the two small states with freedom as fighting for the Chinese people against a despotic state rolling out a dystopian surveillance state?

Will the common interests of those defending freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan reverberate all the way to Peking?