President Tsai launches tour via New York . . .
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Thursday, transiting to a 12-day tour that will see her visit four of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Caribbean. Tsai supporters and opponents clashed outside the Grand Hyatt in New York where she was staying. Before departing New York, Tsai reportedly met Taiwanese business and community associations, as well as attended an unscheduled meeting with UN representatives.
China expressed disappointment . . .
Beijing expressed its “disappointment” over Tsai’s trip, arguing that the U.S. should cease official exchanges with Taiwan. This came on the heels of the U.S. announcing this past Monday its intention to sell US$2.2 billion in arms to Taiwan. China responded by stating it will sanction any U.S. firms that participate in selling arms to Taiwan. Although the U.S. does not officially recognize Taiwan, it is the island’s main non-diplomatic ally. Canada, which also does not officially recognize Taiwan, sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait last month, aligning itself with the U.S., Australia, and France, all of whom have conducted similar freedom of navigation operations in the strait.
Taiwanese identity on the rise . . .
Last month, Tsai won her party’s nomination as presidential candidate in the upcoming January 2020 election. Both Tsai’s trip and her recent support of the Hong Kong demonstrations suggest she is already in pre-election campaign mode. Tsai’s strategy comes at an optimal time as the latest survey polling from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University reveals that citizens on the island are identifying more as 'Taiwanese' rather than 'Chinese' as China continues to put international pressure on Taiwan, a sentiment that had previously been falling for four years.
- Channel News Asia: China to impose sanctions on US firms in Taiwan arms sale
- Japan Times: Supporters, opponents of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen slug it out in New York
- South China Morning Post: Taiwan won’t give in to Beijing as it seeks UN membership, island’s President Tsai Ing-wen says