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Another Perspective for Taiwanese America: Ensuring Taiwan’s Security

另外一個角度給台美人:保證台灣的安全

Written by Eric Chang 張浩明 (aka Ahbying – 阿明) 

If you asked me to put money down on whether or not Donald Trump could point Taiwan out on a map, I would say you are out of your mind. However, if you asked me whether or not the Trump presidency has been good for Taiwan, I would be lying if I said it has not. To be clear, I am not talking about what might be better for the United States; I am strictly talking in terms of Taiwan’s geopolitics and from my personal opinion.

如果你跟我打賭川普能不能在地圖上指出台灣的位置,我一定覺得你瘋了。但是,要是你問我川普就任以來是不是有對台灣釋出善意,我也不會謊稱沒有。老實説,我想單就台灣的地緣政治表達我個人的意見,並不想討論怎麽美國人應該怎麽選擇。

Growing up in the U.S. when I was younger, I never really understood why my progressive parents would sometimes vote Republican. But now, after living in Taiwan for more than 19 years, I can see the method behind the madness. The GOP has traditionally been more vocal in their support of Taiwan. And of course, a lot of that has to do with the massive arms purchases, but it is tangible, effective support nonetheless.

在美國成長的我,小時候一直不懂爲什麽我那思想進步的父母親有時候會投票給共和黨的候選人;在台灣住了十九年以後,我終於了解這個選擇背後的思考。共和黨在傳統上一向公開支持台灣,為台灣發聲;儘管這跟龐大的軍售有很大的關係,但也是具體而有力的支持。

It’s difficult for most Americans to comprehend the cruel authoritarianism that is China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Remember the iconic image of the tank standing against the lone pro-democracy activist? This is an apt metaphor for how China continues to deal with its citizens and the world. Think of Tibetans, the Uyghurs, or the courageous pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Many more people will suffer if China is allowed to roll over the world.

大部分的美國人很難理解中國共產黨殘暴威權的本質,還記得照片裏那個隻身抵擋坦克的民運人士嗎?一樣的道理??,中國將持續用這樣的做法對待他的人民以及其他世界各國;想想西藏人、維吾爾人、或者那些勇敢地在香港示威的民運人士,如果我們繼續容忍中國碾壓世界,只會有更多人受苦難。

Previous administrations believed that diplomatic efforts to work with China and increased integration into international organizations and market-based economic development would somehow magically set Beijing down a path toward democratization. The exact opposite has happened.

前任美國政府相信透過外交上的努力、加強國際組織間的互動、促進市場經濟的發展,都將順利推動北京當局邁向民主化, 但事實證明卻恰恰相反。

Some might argue that the U.S. needs to strengthen its relationships with allies, rather than go it alone against China. My question is, where have these alliances gotten us in the past with respect to Taiwan? Have the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), or any other international organization for that matter, been able to push back against Beijing?

有些人覺得抵制中國前,美國需先強化與各盟國的關係;我要問的是,這些盟國過去為台灣做過什麽?聯合國(UN)、國際貿易組織(WTO)、國際衛生組織(WHO)、或者任何其他的國際組織,哪一個不屈服於來自北京的壓力?

China claims almost all of the disputed South China Sea as its own with its absurd nine-dash line map. In 2016, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration dismissed Beijing’s claims to the waters as having no merit.  Did this ruling by a multilateral body stop China? No, Beijing refused to accept or recognize the ruling, and since then China has continued its militarization of the area.

中國根據自己荒謬的南海九段綫地圖,片面宣稱擁有具爭議的南海海域。設於海牙的國際常設仲裁法庭已在2016年裁定中國的主張無效,但北京當局拒絕接受裁決,這個多邊國家的決議並沒有阻止中國持續在南海島嶼加強軍事建設。

Under the Trump administration there has been a fundamental shift in terms of U.S. policy toward China, one that takes into account the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) threat to American interests and values. When country after country has turned a blind eye to Beijing’s treatment of Taipei, Taiwan has welcomed the United States’ newly hardened stance.

在川普主政下的美國,考量中國共產黨對於美國利益及價值觀的威脅,對中政策有基本上的轉變。當世界各國都對北京當局打壓台灣的事實裝聾作啞,視而不見時,美國對中的強硬立場受到台灣的贊揚。

Take for example how Trump has decided to deal with Huawei, ZTE, TikTok, and WeChat, some of China’s biggest and most successful global technology brands. He has gone quite authoritarian against them, which is exactly how you have to deal with China. China has never played fairly, so why should we treat them fairly?

舉例來説,川普決定制裁華為、中興通訊、抖音、微博,這幾個中國最大也最成功的國際科技品牌。他果決專斷,正是跟中國打交道時該有的態度。既然中國不守規矩,不按牌理出牌,我們就以其道還治其身。

Other bold moves were the administration’s decision to shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston on extremely short notice, and the requirement that Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes in the U.S. must register as a foreign mission. The Trump administration has threatened to de-list Chinese firms that fail to comply with accounting standards from U.S. stock exchanges. And, as most Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans noticed, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s recent visit to Taiwan was the highest-level visit by a member of the Cabinet since the U.S. cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979.

其他大膽的舉動包括要求中國駐休士頓領事館在極短的時間内撤館,要求中國政府出資在美國設立的孔子學院註冊為外交機構,川普政府還威脅要將不遵守會計標準營運的中國公司從美國的股市中除名。大部分的台灣人以及台美人也注意到了最近美國國家衛生部部長亞歷克斯·阿扎爾訪問台灣,這是台美自1979年斷交以來,美國官方最高層級的内閣成員到訪。

To their credit, the 2020 Democratic Party Platform has put much more emphasis on China than previous versions and even omits its previous mention of the “One-China policy.” According to their 2020 platform, “We will rally friends and allies across the world to push back against China or any other country’s attempts to undermine international norms.” That sounds great, but how will that be accomplished? And what if allies are not willing to stand up against Beijing? Will the Democrats have the courage to unilaterally take action against China?

民主黨也有值得贊許的地方, 2020年版的民主黨論壇比上一個版本更強調美中關係,將“一中政策”從黨章中拿掉。根據2020民主論壇,”我們將在全球集結盟友,共同對抗中國或其他試圖破壞國際規範的國家“,聽起來振振有詞,但是如何達成目標?要是盟國不願挺身而出,民主黨有勇氣跟中國單打獨鬥嗎?

When the Global Times — the CCP’s over-the-top propaganda spewing English tabloid — describes Biden as “smoother” to deal with, it is a clear sign that Beijing believes Biden will be easier to manipulate and that Trump’s recent actions have gotten under the CCP’s skin.

環球時報-中國共産黨的官方英文媒體-形容美國民主黨總統侯選人拜登“圓滑“、好商量,明顯看出,川普最近的行爲已經踩到中國共產黨的痛腳,相較於川普,北京當局認爲拜登是更容易被操縱的總統候選人。

Some say the U.S. military has been weakened under the current administration. But with all of China’s stepped-up saber-rattling and almost weekly incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in addition to their increased naval exercises designed specifically to intimidate the Taiwanese, the strong U.S. military presence in the region has been a key factor in keeping the peace.

雖然有些人認爲美國武力已被執政當局削弱,但隨著中國的軍演步步進逼,每週都有中共軍機侵入台灣的防空識別區,加上為恫嚇台灣人民而增加的海事演習,強大的美軍在南海區域的存在,正是台海目前還能維持和平的關鍵因素。

In public, China dismisses U.S. military presence in Asia-Pacific as nothing but “paper tigers,” but in private, they are reaching out to Washington saying that Beijing has ordered its forces “not to fire the first shot” in hopes of de-escalating tensions in the South China Sea, according to the SCMP. Is this the result of multilateralism or unilateralism?

中國曾公開貶抑美軍在亞太平洋的存在只不過是“紙老虎“,但根據香港南華早報(SCMP, South China Morning Post)的報導,北京當局私底下已跟華盛頓接觸,表明爲了降低逐漸升高的緊張態勢,避免擦槍走火,北京下令解放軍部隊不准在南海”開第一槍“。這是多邊主義還是單邊主義的結果?

While diplomacy and soft power crawl at a snail’s pace, I argue that this administration’s unorthodox and unilateral actions have Beijing extremely concerned, which is why China is now reaching out through various channels.

當外交管道及軟實力還在蝸步緩行之際,我認爲,中國面對美國政府非傳統的片面行動非常憂心,開始試圖透過其他不同的管道跟執政當局接觸。

There will be those who say, “I am more than a one-issue voter.” To those people I say, that is the privilege you have of living in the U.S. You do not have to live with a daily existential threat hanging over your head, only a stone’s throw away. Because that is what is at stake here in Taiwan.

對那些宣稱“我只針對單一議題投票”的人,我想說,那是生活在美國才能享有的特權,你們不必像生活在台灣的人一樣,有一箭之遙以外的國家每天對你恐嚇威脅,生命危在旦夕。

But at the end of the day, it will require U.S. politicians from both sides of the aisle to keep the full-court press on China. As Taiwanese Americans, if we care about the welfare and freedoms that Taiwan exercises, we need to let our voices and concerns be heard by those in Washington loud and clear, especially by Democrats who have historically been way too soft on China.

説到底,我們還是需要美國兩大黨的政治家聯手強力施壓中國。身為台美人,要是我們關心台灣的自由及人民的福祉,我們必須大聲疾呼,清楚地向華盛頓當局表達我們的心聲,特別是那些一向對中國態度不夠強硬的民主黨員。

And pay attention to what is going on in Taiwan. Yes, be proud of bubble tea and Taiwanese food, but be prouder of our democracy, our woman president, our freedom of press, our freedom of speech, our respect for human rights, our universal healthcare, our complicated history, and our absolute unwillingness to bend in the face of authoritarian threats from China.

還有,請關心台灣的現狀。是的,珍珠奶茶和台灣美食都是我們的驕傲,但是讓台灣更出色的是我們的民主政治、女性總統、媒體自由、言論自由、全民健保、豐富的歷史、對人權的尊重、以及我們在中國威權的脅迫下絕不屈服的決心。

Our most apparent, unifying takeaway should be this: that our citizenship and political allegiances ground us as a community deeply protective of and concerned with Taiwanese sovereignty and security. It matters little whether we identify as liberal, conservative, or somewhere in the middle. There is a place for us all to be strong, critical advocates for Taiwan.

最重要的結論是,在公民權以及政治理念的基礎上,我們形成了一個真心守護台灣,關心台灣主權及安全的群體,無論你將自己定位為自由派、保守派或者是中間選民,我們共同的主張都是維護一個堅強的台灣。

(Originally published at TaiwaneseAmerican.org)

TaiwaneseAmerican.org Editor‘s note: The views and opinions expressed in all perspectives pieces are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TaiwaneseAmerican.org as a non-profit organization.

TaiwaneseAmerican.org按:本聲明所表達的觀點和意見僅反映作者之見解,不代表TaiwaneseAmerican.org作為非營利組織的官方政策或立場。

Related: [中英版] An Open Letter to the Taiwanese American Community: Securing Taiwan’s Democracy 給台美人的一封公開信:守護台灣民主 (Guest Contributors)

 

 

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