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ICDR China Working Group Joint Statement on Xi Jinping Threats to Taiwan, Peace and Stability

The International Coalition for Democratic Renewal (ICDR) China Working Group condemns belligerent remarks made by Chinese Communist Party Secretary-General Xi Jinping during his address to “Taiwanese compatriots” on the morning of January 2, 2019. During his speech, Mr. Xi stated that China “made no promise to renounce the use of force against Taiwan” to compel unification between authoritarian China and democratic Taiwan.
Remarks of this nature send a disturbing signal not only to the 23 million peace-loving people of Taiwan, but to the region and the community of nations as well. Such statements contradict the repeatedly stated wishes of the international community that disputes can be resolved peacefully, but reaffirm the view that China, as it is led today by the CCP, constitutes a threat to the international order, to peace, and to stability.
President Xi’s insistence on the “one country, two systems” formula for Taiwan — an offer which has very little appeal among the Taiwanese people, in part due to the negative impact this formula has had on freedoms and liberties in Hong Kong, especially in the past five years — also highlights the regime’s antidemocratic proclivities. The threats against Taiwan are part of a larger context. This imposition on a sovereign people, and the overt threat of force should coercion fail to deliver the expected results, occurs as the Chinese regime increasingly ignores international law in the South China Sea through the occupation and militarization of that important area, and norms of humane governance in its own country, where critics of the regime, activists, lawyers, intellectuals and religious figures face hardening repression. The highly disturbing revelations of the presence of concentration camps in Xinjiang, where a million Muslims of Uyghur, Kazakh and other nationalities are reported to be facing forced re-education, the eradication of religious and ethnic identity of Muslims in Xinjiang and other parts of China, the constant crackdown in Tibet targeting Buddhists and Tibetan culture, and the repression of underground Christian churches across China also serve as a reminder of the kind of regime that the international community needs to deal with.
Added to the intensifying assault by China on the world’s democratic institutions through its “sharp power,” the use of “debt trap” to grab territory and infrastructure in other countries, the weaponization of African votes at United Nations institutions, the exploitation of AI to erect an unprecedentedly intrusive surveillance state, harassment of Chinese communities and minorities abroad, the incessant cyber attacks on government institutions and private enterprises worldwide, secret detentions, and the hostage-taking of foreign nationals, it is clear that the Chinese threat against democratic Taiwan, renewed in January 2, is no aberration. Rather, it is but one element in a series of challenges to peace and stability by a rampant human-rights violator, a state that we can no longer afford to regard as a normal participant in international relations. Taiwan is in the frontline of this assault on the world order, and a “grand bargain” trading its independence for hoped-for concessions on other matters would not resolve the fundamental contradiction that exists between the CCP worldview and the international order that we cherish.
The ICDR China Working Group and likeminded signatories call on the community of nations to join forces in the defense of peace, decency, democracy, human rights, and the rules-based order that has contributed to human prosperity over the past seven decades by condemning the bellicose behavior of the Chinese regime.
Working Group on the Global Influence of China and its Impact on Democracy
International Coalition for Democratic Renewal

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