Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

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Chinese nationalists are losing patience, despite more than seventy years of maintaining the status quo, and want to see the island forcibly reunified with the mainland. The record third victory for Taiwan’s most independence-leaning party in Saturday’s presidential election has spurred cries for war from Chinese nationalists.

When Lai Ching-te, the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party, who was also Taiwan’s vice president, was elected as the new president of the self-governing island, he received slightly more than forty percent of the vote. In his victory speech, he told the international community that “between democracy and authoritarianism, we will stand on the side of democracy.”

Hou Yu-ih, the candidate for the Kuomintang (KMT), who is more lenient toward China, garnered slightly more than a third of the vote, while Ko Wen-je, the candidate for the Taiwan People’s Party, received more than a quarter of the votes actually cast.

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election
Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

While the DPP has stated that it is open to discussions with Beijing, Beijing has so far refused them. At the same time, Beijing has increased military investigations and threats against Taiwan, and it has emphasized its aspirations to one day reunify Taiwan with China, regardless of whether or not this is done through force.

The election was portrayed by Chinese officials as a decision between peace and war for Taiwan, and they had labeled it as such. However, it appears that mainland Chinese nationalists are the ones who are paying attention to that message.

China’s mainland Chinese citizens responded to the election results by expressing their desire for China to fulfill its threat to compel Taiwan’s reunification in interviews with the Voice of America (VOA).Because of worries about their safety, they requested that VOA only use their last names.

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

According to Mr. Ni, a media worker in the Chinese province of Hunan, which is located in the south-central region, the people around him did not discuss the Taiwan election in public, but they did so with a great deal of fervor in private. Despite the fact that he stated that “liberating Taiwan was the main theme,” he did not elaborate on the circumstances under which China would be liberating the democratic and self-governing island.

In addition, he stated that there was an increase in the number of calls for China to invade Taiwan in order to forcibly reunify it with the majority of the mainland.

In the province of Fujian, which is located in the southeastern part of China, Mr. Gao, who is based in Fuzhou, commented that he was “very pleased” about Lai’s victory because it had the potential to accelerate the process of military reunification with China.

Additionally, he stated that democracy and freedom were, in his opinion, nothing more than phrases for politicians to use in order to acquire power and political wealth. “War is inevitable, and the central government has already made arrangements,” he warned.

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

There were also nationalists on the Chinese internet who asserted that the only viable choice was to reunify Taiwan by the use of force. An someone who identified themselves as “Star Sky Strawberry Little White” made a comment that stated, “The voting has shown the public opinion on the other side (of the strait).”

Rather than being a minority, it constitutes a significant majority. The island of Taiwan, sometimes known as Frog Island, cannot be saved in any way. You must abandon your delusions and reunify it through military means.

It was written by the well-known nationalist social media influencer Midnight Knight, who has more than one million followers on Weibo, which is the Chinese version of X, the social media platform that was formerly known as Twitter. “This matter cannot be delayed any longer,” Midnight Knight wrote. “It’s better to fight early than late, and it’s better to fight big than small.”

A survey that was conducted online and published in May 2023 by the Journal of Contemporary China, which was edited by North America, revealed that more than half of mainland respondents supported the idea of combining Taiwan through the use of force.

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

Mr. Xu, a Hong Kong analyst who was born in mainland China and who also declined to give his full name due to security concerns, told VOA that Lai’s victory will push Taiwan in the direction of war. This is especially true given that China has sanctioned his deputy, Hsiao Bi-khim, for advocating for Taiwan’s independence. As a result, this will create barriers to Taiwan’s international economic and trade investments.

When it comes to mainland China, Lai has a rather poor image. Following her ascension to the presidency in 2016, Tsai Ing-wen enjoyed a stellar reputation throughout the greater mainland of China. “This honor is not bestowed upon Lai,” he stated.

On the other hand, there are some mainland Chinese who are actively advocating for war or who believe that a military conflict is unavoidable. These individuals include those who view the election of Taiwan as a model that China might one day emulate.

VOA was informed by Mr. Zhang, who resides in the province of Jiangsu, which is located on the eastern coast of China, that on the day of Taiwan’s election, his social media groups were inundated with information regarding the vote.

Chinese Nationalists Call for Taiwan Reintegration War After Presidential Election

He remarked, “This positive signal shows that more and more Chinese are observing how democracy works in Taiwan,” and he went on to say that the Taiwan Strait can only be safe during the time that China has democratic voting.

In spite of the totalitarian one-party state’s efforts to discredit and restrict discussion of Chinese people electing their own leaders in Taiwan, the election was one of the most searched topics on Weibo, with more than 163 million post views on Saturday before officials disabled access to the platform.

According to a statement made by a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday, Beijing’s refusal to swear off the use of force is not directed at “Taiwan compatriots,” but rather at “interference from external forces” and what he referred to as the “tiny number of Taiwan independence separatists and their separatist activities.”

The vast majority of people in Taiwan, according to polls conducted among the population, would like to maintain their sovereignty, and the majority of Taiwanese people identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.

Taiwan broke away from China during the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, which saw the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the retreat of the defeated nationalist Kuomintang forces to Taiwan. Taiwan went through a transition to democracy in the 1990s, while China continued to be ruled by the CCP.

Despite the fact that the United States does not endorse Taiwan’s declaration of independence, it has pledged to protect Taiwan from any attempt by Beijing to seize the island through coercion. The United States of America sent its congratulations to Lai on his victory and to the people of Taiwan for demonstrating the power of their democratic system.

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