Why The West And India Love Taiwan – OpEd


Reps. Mike Gallagher, a Republican, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, are the chair and ranking member of what is basically the hottest ticket in Washington. The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which is its full name, was the brainchild of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and is focused exclusively on how to map out a new era of U.S. competition with China. It’s a task almost everyone in Washington is on board with, which has made at least some U.S. allies and partners around the world very uneasy, fearful of being dragged into a Cold War 2.0.Foreign Policy

As the Taiwan presidential election due in January 2024 approaches, prominent western – primarily US and UK media, but now joined by Indian media – have begun to work themselves into a frenzy of stories and analysis on Taiwan and China. But this attention is not to provide fair reporting on the election. 

It is in reality to provide reconstituted or rehashed anti China coverage. It is like a replay of the recent anti-China reporting on Covid taking place. And the same skewed treatment has been meted out to China continously on Tibet, the Dalai Lama, Tienanmen, Falun Gong, Hongkong, Xinjiang, the Uyghur etc. with the attention catching words of “dictatorial”, “genocidal”, “anti-democratic” and other smears invariably thrown into the story. 

The following slanted list of news reports emerged from a recent internet search on the latest developments in Taiwan politics. 

Taiwan’s former US envoy, well-known in US, vilified by China, named VP candidateReuters via AOL· 

Taiwan’s opposition drama ends with no dealBBC via Yahoo News

Taiwan’s opposition spent an hour publicly arguing over who will run for president. They can’t… Fortune·

Presidential elections: Setback for China as taiwan opposition splits in dramatic feud


11 Chinese aircraft knock Taiwan’s door as presidential polls loom: ‘Monitoring’Hindustan Times

Taiwan opposition alliance collapses, Terry Gou quits raceThe Ponca City News· 

From it we see that even small time news organisations from obscure western places with a readership that should have little or no interest in what is happening in a part of the world thousands of miles away are joining the Washington “China is the enemy” bandwagon by recycling stories originating from a half dozen of what has been referred to as “the white man’s media” responsible for framing and formenting anti China hysteria 

See “White Man’s Media propaganda multiplier; the three global news agencies” in https://johnmenadue.com/white-mans-media-propaganda-multiplier-the-three-global-news-agencies/

Tactics of Western and Indian Media

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics calls on journalists to seek truth and report It. This includes fact-checking, not intentionally distorting information, identifying sources, avoiding stereotypes, and supporting the open exchange of opinions. 

But are these the professional ethics and principles which Western and Indian media abide by whilst accusing China’s media of lacking independence and for being the mouth piece of the Communist Party of China?

That there appears to be little or no investigative research or independent journalism in the Western and Indian media reporting on developments in Taiwan and China should not be surprising. 

The overwhelming majority of senior journalist positions in western news organisations are held by Anglo Saxon or Whites. And the role of non-White, including Chinese, journalists is generally relegated to acting as subordinates – perhaps checking on some reference or detail but more usually to give the appearance that the report has some Chinese, that is, diversity input so as to lend ‘legitimacy’ to the story.  

It is difficult to believe but it is not surprising that there is no prominent or credible Chinese or Asian journalist covering Taiwan – or China – news reporting despite the fact that the two have been in the front pages of global geo-politics news for more than two decades now.

There is little evidence that the non-Chinese journalists whose Taiwan and China reports emerge in the print and online media have the solid language skills needed to conduct in depth interviews with ordinary Taiwanese. Neither is there evidence that they have been able to establish relationships with the wide range of respondents necessary to obtain information for unbiased and accurate reporting. 

And even if these journalists of independence and integrity are to be found, their reports have not emerged unscathed. For it is clear that the owners and controllers of western media see their primary role as protecting the economic and political interests of the United States, Britain, Australia and allies.  

How Taiwan Fits Into World Geo-Politics

In doing so, western media, now joined by Indian media, continue to act as the mouthpiece of the military, business and security interests and agencies embedded in the respective countries that see Taiwan, its chip industry and purchases of Western weaponry as vital to US and western continuing hegemony as well as a dependable cash cow; and China, as the pacing threat standing in the way of the West. 

The concern in the West – its governments and public – has never been about the welfare and interests of the Taiwanese people.  Western powers and Japan were enjoined in attempting to carve out the ‘China melon’ or the ‘Chinese pastry’ in the late nineteenth century. Taiwan, although an outlier, is an outcome from that period of Western imperialism which is now seeking to retain dominance in the Asia-Pacific region by stopping the rise and development of China.    

Today China has not only remained unbowed and uncarved. It is patiently awaiting the reunification of Taiwan with the rest of China. The durian will drop when it is ready is perhaps the best way to describe the situation for South East Asians viewing developments.  

Whatever the way Western media spins developments in Taiwan – including the outcome of the Presidential elections – it should become clear to Taiwanese that the West’s only interest in Taiwan is to keep China down and to exploit the island’s people for their military and economic value.  

Lim Teck Ghee

Lim Teck Ghee PhD is a Malaysian economic historian, policy analyst and public intellectual whose career has straddled academia, civil society organisations and international development agencies. He has a regular column, Another Take, in The Sun, a Malaysian daily; and is author of Challenging the Status Quo in Malaysia.

One thought on “Why The West And India Love Taiwan – OpEd

  • December 5, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    However you cut it, this is yet another excellent piece of writing from the “pen” of Professor Lim Teck Ghee. It is crisp and elegantly crafted with no flab. A pleasure to read.


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