Asia Minute: Pressures for Taiwan

May 28, 2018

Taipei
Credit David Hsieh / Flickr

It’s been a difficult month for Taiwan. The government there has faced increasing pressure from Beijing on a number of fronts, and it’s been having an international impact. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

These are challenging times for the government of Taiwan. A place Beijing considers a province of China — with recently renewed insistence.

The number of governments recognizing Taiwan as a country has dropped by a third since the 1990’s – to less than twenty. Last week, the African nation of Burkina Faso became the latest to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing — less than a month after the Dominican Republic did the same.

And it’s not just diplomacy.

On Friday, Taiwan’s air force scrambled planes to follow two Chinese bombers circling the island in an apparent training exercise.

China’s government is also increasing external pressure. Last week, Chinese media reported that the Japanese retailer Muji has been fined more than 30,000 U.S. dollars for listing Taiwan as a “country of origin” on some of its packaging.

And then there’s the airline controversy.

Last month, aviation regulators in Beijing insisted that 26 airlines operating in China refer to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China.”

Credit Nicky Boogaard / Flickr

Last week, China’s state-run Global Times reported that Delta, American, United and Qantas Airlines have all refused to make the changeit’s not clear what if anything the consequences may be.

Earlier this month, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized the Chinese insistence on a change in language as “Orwellian nonsense.”