China remains a serious challenge

    By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times 2024.4.26

With tensions between China and the Philippines heating up, face-offs have not only occurred in the South China Sea, but the Philippines also skipped the Western Pacific Naval Symposium — which received delegations from 29 countries, including the US — hosted by China.

Lately, many Chinese exchange students have flocked to Cagayan province in the northern Philippine island of Luzon, leading to a surging enrollment in private universities in Tuguegarao City.

The unexpected influx of Chinese students might trigger concern for the Philippine government as the province hosts two military bases that could be used by US troops under the two-nation Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

However, Tuguegarao Mayor Maila Ting Que told Philippines-based ABS-CBN news station in a virtual interview: “We’ve been fighting so hard to promote educational tourism, now it is being eroded, it is being questioned.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) always stirs up divisions in other countries, which can be seen in Taiwan, as some city mayors and county commissioners have acted similarly.

As the world’s most populous country, China takes advantage of its population to infiltrate other countries.

More than 46,000 Chinese “stowaways” have entered the US in the past two years, and many of them are adults, fueling fears that the CCP might send undercover personnel or troops to the US, Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump said in an interview early this month.

Official data showed that the number of Chinese asylum seekers in the US was increasing, with US border patrol officers arresting 182 Chinese at the southern border on Tuesday alone. The number of Chinese stowaways has surpassed the number of Mexican citizens that pass through the San Diego border crossing. Last year, 37,000 Chinese were arrested at the southern border — 50 times the number from two years ago.

Routes and approaches for illegal immigration have been publicly posted on Douyin (抖音) without any prohibition by the Chinese government, making it hard to distinguish between those who are legitimate asylum seekers from those assigned with “special tasks.”

China has sent “stowaways” for decades using different routes, and the US government should investigate whether those Chinese in the US who have obtained political asylum are opposed to China or lying to the US authorities.

CIA Director William Burns on Thursday last week said that the US still has several challenges to contend with regarding China, as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is “determined in the course of his political lifetime to control Taiwan.”

It “doesn’t mean that he’s planning to invade tomorrow or next month or next year, but it means we have to take very seriously that ambition,” he added.

FBI Director Christopher Wray also warned on the same day that CCP-sponsored cyberactors have positioned themselves and are waiting to launch devastating attacks on critical US infrastructure.

With similar opinions being expressed by two major US intelligence agencies, has the US become disillusioned with China?

Several US officials have visited China recently to communicate with the CCP, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently on his second visit to China in less than a year.

The US’ behavior is confusing. Does it want to make a false show of civility or does it want to sincerely collaborate with China, aiming to persuade Xi to stop oppressing Taiwan and supporting Russia? Nobody knows.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

Translated by Chien Yan-ru


    LingFengComment 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()