Since Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) election as the president of Taiwan in January last year and her inauguration in May that year, the People’s Republic of China has increasingly worked to push Taiwan onto the sidelines of international affairs through exclusion and bullying.
China views Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a threat to its goal of eventual unification with Taiwan, so over the course of the past year, China has worked tirelessly to further isolate Taiwan from the rest of the world.
Most recently, this year’s World Health Assembly — the annual meeting of the WHO held from May 22 to Wednesday — at China’s behest excluded Taiwan from attending for the first time in eight years.
While China has succeeded in isolating Taiwan internationally at official meetings of international organizations, it has failed to get concessions from Tsai or the Taiwanese, and Taiwan continues to enjoy unofficial relations with major countries at the bilateral level.
What does China seek to achieve by continuing this behavior and why will the international community not step up to prevent these passive-aggressive and overtly aggressive actions?
Within the past nine months, China has exerted its influence to keep Taiwan out of important meetings at various organizations and conferences.