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China Vows to ‘Crush’ Taiwan Amid Push for Independence



Clear Facts

  • Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te is running for president amidst threats from China, which warns of “extreme danger” if he wins.
  • Opposition candidate Hou Yu-ih, known for his pro-Beijing stance, is providing a tight competition to Lai.
  • China’s threats have significantly influenced the election debate, with Taiwanese citizens voicing their desire for peace over war.

Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te recently concluded his presidential campaign by positioning himself as the security candidate, despite China’s warning of “extreme danger” if he emerges victorious.

“Each of your ballots will help safeguard Taiwan,” Lai told his supporters at an election eve rally in Tainan, a city on Taiwan’s southern coast. He further emphasized that every vote would help unify the nation and make progress.

Lai, the heir-apparent to term-limited Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, finds himself in a tighter-than-expected race against Hou Yu-ih, a leading opposition candidate with a pro-Beijing reputation. The election debate within Taiwan has been overshadowed by Chinese Communist pressure tactics aimed at undermining Lai’s candidacy.

Dr. Lily McElwee, deputy director of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted that the candidates’ foreign policy positions don’t differ significantly. All candidates suggest maintaining the status quo, investing in Taiwan’s defense to deter China, and varying levels of communication and cooperation with Beijing.

As polls opened at 8 a.m. Saturday morning local time, Taiwanese voters were faced with these options under the looming threat of conflict with China, should they choose to promote Tsai’s longtime ally.

Col. Zhang Xiaogang, a Chinese defense ministry spokesman, warned, “The People’s Liberation Army is on high vigilance at all times and will take all necessary measures to resolutely crush any form of secessionist designs for ‘Taiwan independence’ and to firmly defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”

This rhetoric is seen as a condemnation of Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party, which originated as a pro-independence movement dissenting from the martial law regime established by Republic of China leader Chiang Kai-shek on the island after the Chinese Communist Party overthrew his nationalist Kuomintang government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated, “‘Taiwan independence’ is the biggest threat to cross-Strait peace and stability and is doomed to failure.” She further added that regardless of the election result, it will not change the basic fact that Taiwan is part of China and there is only one China in the world.

Chinese Communist officials have increased military activity around Taiwan since August 2022, when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei over Beijing’s objections. They have used military gestures and economic pressure to signal their preference and raise the perceived stakes of a victory by Lai.


China’s Taiwan Affairs Office expressed hope that the majority of Taiwan compatriots recognize the extreme harm of the DPP’s ‘Taiwan independence’ line and the extreme danger of Lai Ching-te’s triggering of cross-Strait confrontation and conflict. The office urged the Taiwanese to make the right choice at the crossroads of cross-Strait relations.

The influence of China’s threats on the election debate is evident as Taiwanese citizens at a KMT rally chanted “We want peace, not war” to voice their opposition to Lai. Hou Yu-ih, during a December 30 debate, said, “Under the DPP government, we see the status quo that is on the verge of war. We need the KMT to stabilize the situation across the Taiwan Strait so that we can [be] pro-the U. S. and be friendly with China.”

Relations between the Chinese Communist Party and Taiwan have been strained in recent years as Tsai has insisted that any negotiations over the status of the island democracy must be held “on the basis of equality, instead of using suppression and intimidation to get Taiwanese to submit.” Hou argues that “interaction will lead to de-escalation,” but he felt obliged to promise this week that he would not discuss “the unification issue” with Chinese Communist officials if elected.

Lai made a popular statement of his strategic orientation when he chose Taiwan’s top envoy to the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim, to return from Washington and run for vice president on his ticket. Dr. McElwee said, “Policymakers in the United States are assessing that they can work with any of these candidates. [Lai] will continue President Tsai’s pretty pragmatic stance of not declaring independence. So … there’s not a huge amount of daylight between the policies of each party toward cross-strait relations and foreign policy more broadly.”

Clear Thoughts (op-ed)

The threatening rhetoric from China towards Taiwan’s electoral process is an alarming manifestation of Beijing’s disregard for democratic values. Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te is courageously running for president amidst these threats, positioning himself as the security candidate who can safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty.

This election is not just about Taiwan, but a reflection of the global struggle between autocracy and democracy. The Chinese Communist Party’s pressure tactics to influence the Taiwanese electorate are an affront to democratic values, and should be condemned by the international community.

As Taiwanese citizens voice their desire for peace over war, it’s crucial to remember that peace cannot be achieved through submission to threats. It’s essential that the international community stands in solidarity with Taiwan, defending its right to self-determination.

China’s increased military activity and economic pressure around Taiwan are not just threats to this island democracy, but to the global order. The world should keep a vigilant eye on Taiwan’s elections and be ready to defend democratic values.


Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. kRANKY

    January 19, 2024 at 6:42 pm



  2. Tom Myers

    January 19, 2024 at 6:54 pm

    Let’s go a step further; Taiwan has always been a haven for organized crime without retribution Look at Hunter Biden and Joe, how long have they been a avoiding declaring taxes from Taiwan interest and profits of which China is being cheated as well. Sure Joe Biden wants to send in an army to protect his assets. China will never tell the real reasons they are going to attack, but I betcha the Biden’s will not only get busted when they raid the banks and get deposit records, but a huge score of criminals. We do have an extradition treaty with China.

  3. Tom Myers

    January 19, 2024 at 7:13 pm

    Correction previous comment. We do not have an Exradition Treaty with China.

  4. LMB

    January 19, 2024 at 7:16 pm

    I believe that the people of China don’t want a war with Taiwan. There are too many relatives in both countries. I believe the military of the CCP isn’t looking forward to starting a war that they will possibly start WWIII!!! The amount of damage on both sides would be tremendous!!!

    • James Johnson

      January 20, 2024 at 7:52 pm

      China doesn’t care what its people think, any more than they care about what the international community thinks.
      The fact that a free Taiwan exits at all bruises the fragile ego of every communist party member.
      They have no qualms about dragging every peace-loving citizen into a third world war to diminish or destroy Western influence in the Pacific theater. It won’t happen soon enough for the “Middle Kingdom.”

  5. Tom Myers

    January 19, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    Crystal Clear News moderators have elected to violate the rights of free speech to the general public. Only communist such as Chinese would elect to selectively rebuke comments of readers based off of belief or prejudices. Therefore it appears they are hypocrites and should be banned from news service. You cannot manicure comments to meet your personal criteria.

    • Jeremy

      January 19, 2024 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Tom, they have moderated several of my posts as well. Most of them do get posted in about a week. But with a couple of them, I can’t even find the article I posted on.

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