As military tensions between China and Taiwan escalate again, The Conversation Weekly podcast tells two experts about China’s long-term strategy and what it means for Taiwan. And we hear about North Americans claiming to be indigenous.
In mid-October, the United States and Canada each sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait, a body of water about 180 km wide that separates Taiwan from mainland China. The Chinese military condemned the move, saying Canada and the United States “seriously threaten peace and stability.” This follows increased Chinese military pressure on Taiwan, which the People’s Republic of China regards as a breakaway Chinese province. Over the course of four days in early October, a record number of Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
What is the mood in Taiwan? “People are calm,” says our colleague Justin Bergman, Wen-Ti Sun, a visiting professor of Taiwan studies at the Australian National University, which is currently based in the country’s capital, Taipei. Song explains that this is only the latest in a long line of Chinese military action against Taiwan.
He attributes calmness to “anxious fatigue”, comparing the situation to Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried the Wolf.” If China claims to one day take over Taiwan by force, “take it seriously,” says Song. “Do it twice, you take it seriously. For the hundredth time, at some point, you have to look at things other than words to judge their intent. ” He explains how the Taiwanese people and their political leaders see the situation and what might happen next.
On the Beijing side, the use of military muscle is part of a longer-term strategy, according to Olivia Chung, a research associate at China’s SOAS Institute at SOAS University of London. She says China’s plan is to maintain the intimidation for so long and with such intensity that it “will make your enemies fearful and make them react irrationally to maximize your advantage.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategy to return Taiwan is closely linked to the national revival of the “China Dream.” President Xi has set a timetable for achieving the China Dream by 2049, but Chung says he wants “significant, visible progress” towards national rejuvenation by 2035. She explains how China plans to achieve this, but the big variable is how the rest of the world, especially the US, will react.
For the second part of this episode, we were joined by Vinita Srivastava, host of Don’t Call Me Sustainable, a race podcast from The Conversation in Canada. We present part of a recent episode in which they talked about the phenomenon of white – or mostly white – people in North America pretending to be indigenous. She discusses this issue, known as “race change” or “stolen identities,” with two Aboriginal scholars: Weldon Coburn, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Indigenous Studies at the University of Ottawa, and Celeste Pedri-Spade, Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies. at the University of Ottawa. Queen’s University. You can listen to the full episode here.
In addition, Lutfi Julfikar, Education and Youth Editor at The Conversation in Jakarta, gives us some recommended books from Indonesia.
This episode of The Conversation Weekly was produced by Mend Marivani and Gemma Ware, and the sound design was by Eloise Stevens. Our theme song was written by Nita Sarl, and the music for Don’t Call Me Sustainable was written by Jamal Padmore. You can find us on Twitter @TC_Audio, on Instagram at theconversationdotcom or email at [email protected] You can also sign up for the free daily The Conversation newsletter here.
News footage in this BBC, CNA News, DW News, Formosa TV English News, WION News, WION and Guardian News.
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