The Smart Way To Deal With China

This speech was made before the coronavirus outbreak. Wen Zhao noted that many Taiwanese taxi drivers are complaining as Tsai’s election victory would mean that they would get less business from the mainland.

However, it’s difficult to tell what would happen in 10 years’ time if Taiwanese had accepted China’s offer of “One Country Two Systems”. In the early years after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, taxi drivers were also doing very well with so many customers from the mainland. 10 years down the road, they can’t afford homes. Their increased income is buying them less, not more. When they appeal to their government, their government fails to put their interests first. And they can’t change replace their leaders with people who really care for them because there is no democracy.

Wen Zhao does not advocate the marginalisation of China. Instead, he tells the audience that one must adopt a totally different strategy when dealing with China. One of the risk factors lies in the fact that China can weaponise or politicise any issue or industry.

吃地沟油的命,操中南海的心. Some have said that democracy is not suited to the Chinese people. But look at Taiwan – the only Chinese society that has democracy. The election posters are removed after an election and life goes on. It’s a sharp contrast with other societies where the losers don’t recognise the results and begin an armed struggle which could morph into a civil war. Will the same thing happens in Hong Kong if people were awarded universal suffrage? Of course not. It’s precisely because Hong Kongers feel so powerless that they protest and a small number of them turn violent.

Wen Zhao points out that we must recognise that the Chinese government has values which are very different from ours. Infiltration is one of the things that can quickly erode the values of any society.