Taiwan Vice President Vows to Fight Authoritarianism During US Stop

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The Facts

  • During an official transit stop in New York on Sunday, Taiwanese Vice President William Lai stated that Taipei would "not be scared nor cower" in the face of the "threat of authoritarianism."

  • Lai, expected to run for the presidency in January 2024, said he was "very willing" to engage in talks with China to "seek peace and stability."

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

The US' acceptance of Taiwan officials' transit stops goes against Washington's recognition of the One-China policy. Lai's pro-independence stance is just a distraction from the reality of his party's poor governance — and a sad attempt to win votes. However, his potential election victory will only damage relations across the Strait. Beijing should — and will — react strongly to continued attempts to undermine China's legitimate sovereignty over Taiwan.

Anti-China narrative

China continues to conduct aggressive military exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait, and subsequent regional tensions are only growing. While the US must help stabilize relations between Taiwan and China again, Washington must protect economic and political interests and provide sensible competition against Beijing. As military conflict must be avoided, maintaining the international status quo is necessary for the US' future.

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