Taiwan is the future of the Asia-Pacific, not China

Island's success the result of staunch commitment to democratic ideals


Nikkei Asia
Date: November 15, 2020
By: Daniel Twining

President Tsai Ing-Wen waves at a night market in Keelung after the lockdown ease on June 9: transparency, accountability, and public trust have allowed Taiwan to combat COVID-19 without sacrificing economic growth.   © Sipa/AP

Dr. Daniel Twining is president of the International Republican Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that supports democracy. He formerly served as a member of the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff and as the foreign policy adviser to U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated trends toward authoritarianism and instability, it was clear that the Asia-Pacific region would face a crisis of democracy in 2020.

How would countries weather the strain on democratic institutions by strongmen who reject pluralism and bristle at criticism? Would nations that rely upon aid from the major powers continue to seek partnerships with Western democracies, or succumb to China's increasingly aggressive campaign of authoritarian influence?

These questions have only become more pressing as states struggle to cope with the governance challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and as China exploits the chaos of its own making to undermine political independence in Hong Kong and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.