Taiwan and China’s cross-strait tension is not new. Every passing day offers some sort of scathing remarks or developments from the either side for the media to bite on. The PRC has always held strong the view that the island of Taiwan is a renegade province and even vowed to make it part of China in the near future. As many opined, the Ukraine war has given a catharsis for China to brave a move, but the PRC is yet to zero in on that part. Nevertheless, China won’t give up on its stake in Taiwan and the island region has always topped the list of Xi Jinping, more evident from the primacy that the one-China policy holds.
A trojan horse emerge from Taiwan
So, Taiwan is back again in news. Not for any usual stuff that made into the catalogues of news regarding Taiwan. This time, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-Je hogs the limelight. He has come under fire for his proposal to build a bridge linking Taiwan’s offshore islet of Quemoy and the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, with opponents claiming it would be a “Trojan horse” serving only to aid any potential attack by the People’s Liberation Army.
Ko has always harboured a soft stance on matters about China. His affiliation to the mainland is a talked-about subject in Taiwan and it came out of the shadow during the recent visit to Quemoy, also known as Kinmen, where he said the bridge would not only help promote prosperity on the former Taiwan defence outpost but also ease cross-strait tensions.
“If you ask me what to do, I suggest that we build a cross-sea bridge linking the airport in Xiamen and Kinmen,” said Ko, head of the Taiwan People’s Party, during a visit to the islet cluster on June 18 to open a committee office for the party.
Ko further reasoned that this bridge if completed could provide an alternate route for residents seeking to travel abroad which could lessen the arduous journey that the populace always endures.
“Try it first and deal with the problems if they occur,” Ko made his final comment.
But history is aplenty with happenings that give a lucid picture of how China works. Beijing has fixated its eyes on Taiwan for eons and if given a level playing field to slither into, PRC will duly move ahead with annexing every inch of what is left in the name of Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stated the 1992 Consensus which reflects an agreement that “the two sides of the strait belong to one China and would work together to seek national reunification.”
China till now has a stalker-like persistence on Taiwan. The Taipei mayor is seriously at his wit’s end to make camaraderie with Beijing knowing very well how the latter operates its game. Unsurprisingly Ko’s suggestion drew harsh critique from all quarters OF political turf in Taiwan.
“Does he know it would create the risk of opening the way for the PLA to attack Taiwan?” DPP legislator Lin Chun-hsien asked of Ko on Thursday.
“In taking Taiwan, the biggest obstacle the Chinese Communists are facing is the Taiwan Strait – and the foolish proposal of building the bridge is what they most desire,” Chang Po-yang, information director of the hard-line pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party said.
Most prominent of all, Xi Jinping has made it a hobby to repeatedly mention the connectivity issue, whether it be a public speech or any other function. The bridge projects between Quemoy and Matsu have always found a place in Xi’s game plan in Taiwan.
While Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan distanced from any comments on the issue, Hsieh Pei-Feng, spokeswoman for the DPP, which Tsai leads, said Tsai “has never supported building the bridge”.