China and Taiwan – Why do we have full normal diplomatic relations with a brutal regime but not with a democratic country?

Spoiler: There are two China. One of the countries is a brutal communist regime. Communist China oppresses its own people, kidnaps other countries’ citizens, occupies Tibet, annexes islands in the South China Sea, ignores international law, uses its firms to spy for the state, pushes indebted countries to support its foreign policies, abuses its position in the UN, tries to cover-up its denial about Covid-19 and attacks those who expose it. 

The other country is democratic. Its citizens not only enjoy prosperity but also civil rights. Taiwan is under constant attack from communist China. Communist China is recognised by most countries and have formal diplomatic relations with them. Taiwan is only recognised by a few countries. This is hypocrisy and it is time to do something about it. 

China and Taiwan received a lot of attention during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Chinese regime initially put the lid on the outbreak. This behaviour has meant that the pandemic has had much larger consequences than if China had been transparent and alerted the WHO. The Taiwanese government and authorities acted immediately upon acquired information about the transmission of Covid-19 inside of China. Their warnings to the WHO were however neglected. This is a consequence of China’s aggressive policy which ultimately aims at occupying Taiwan and integrate it with the rest of the dictatorship.

China and Taiwan have de facto been separate countries since 1949. From the beginning, living standards and health conditions developed much better in Taiwan than in China. Chinese development did not accelerate until after Mao’s death which allowed the new regime to introduce market economy reforms. The Tiananmen Square Massacre made it clear for the world that the communist regime was not interested in human rights in any other way than crushing them with tanks, guns, and concentration camps.

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Putin’s priorities put the Russian people at risk

Spoiler: Recently released data from The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (www.sipri.org), shows that Russia continues to prioritise the military. Russian military expenditures as shares in GDP and total government expenditure exceed most countries’.

Spending so much of a country’s resources on the military would be justifiable if the country faces a threat from other countries. But there is no threat. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, military expenditures in Western Europe decreased significantly and USA withdrew many of its troops, weapons and military equipment from Europe.

But for a president who considers the collapse of the Soviet Union to be a larger geopolitical disaster than the WWII, which cost the lives of at least 20 million Soviet citizens, a strong military is useful for invading one’s neighbouring countries and restore the evil empire.

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The corona virus and democracy

Spoiler: The number of democracies has fallen during the last decade. For the first time since 2002, there are now more autocracies than democracies in the world. The EU now has its first autocracy, Hungary.

The Polish government is following close in the path to autocracy. The governments in Hungary and Poland have systematically attacked the media’s and judiciary’s independence the last years. Without an independent media and judiciary, the regimes’ next step on the road to autocracy is to manipulate the elections.

The corona virus has made it necessary to implement measures restricting the freedom om movement and assembly. While these are justifiable measures which will be revoked in most countries, the Hungarian government wants to use the state of emergency powers in ways that violate civil rights also after the Corona crisis is over.

These developments are deeply worrying. Russia under Putin provides a horrifying example of how autocratic leaders abuse their powers at the expense of human rights.

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