The United States Once Again Meddles in Taiwan's Democratic Elections

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Sunday December 25, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

It is a shame that despite protestations of neutrality, someone or someones in the United States executive office once again are trying to meddle in the presidential elections of Taiwan. Since Taiwan is a democracy, this makes such meddling all the more shameful.

First we had the "secret leak" to the "Financial Times" that the executive office was displeased and mistrustful of Tsai Ing-wen almost immediately after her visit to Washington D.C. The leak was of course "confidential," (such leaks always are to avoid individual responsibility and blame for meddling) but allegedly from "high up, reliable" (read cowardly) sources. The almost immediate action of the leak barely after Tsai's plane had left the ground, indicates that it was either pre-planned or Tsai did not give the "patsy" answers to questions asked that the United States (US) wanted. One has to remember that the US has for more than a half a century (some 65 plus years) maintained the official manipulative stance of "undecided and undetermined" on Taiwan even after Taiwan achieved its full-fledged democratic status in 1996.

Now three weeks before the upcoming presidential elections with current President Ma Ying-jeou in deep trouble, the same US has thrown a bone to their "good little boy Ma" who has pledged to do "nothing" vis-a-vis his three noes.

The US via the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced that Taiwan is nominated (not approved) for the US visa-waiver program. This nomination must be followed by an "extensive and detailed evaluation" of Taiwan"s homeland security and immigration systems. One can only imagine how long that will take, especially with "good boy Ma" encouraging and allowing Chinese from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to waltz in and out of the country almost at will.

Nonetheless, despite such a long anticipated review process, AIT felt compelled (should we read ordered?) to officially announce it immediately after the nomination and with only three weeks to go before the presidential elections. One could not be neutral and wait for another three weeks, especially since nothing will be done in Washington while the Christmas and New Year holidays are upon us, could one?

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) immediately of course jumped on this to talk of it as if it were in the bag. But there are several real questions that Taiwanese and Americans should ask. If the US really trusted "good boy Ma," why have they only given military upgrades to Taiwan's aging air force instead of the latest F-16s? Is Ma the perfect patsy for the US as it maintains its manipulative limbo status on Taiwan's identity and democracy? Is it because Ma will not support Taiwanese self-identity and choice? And finally, for the world, why does the US which defends all of its wars and military interventions as being based on a belief in promoting democracy, then turn around and meddle in Taiwan's democracy?