Taiwan’s Imported Wolf Warriors – OpEd


China’s State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu shared with a world audience what can be considered as the country’s definitive Taiwan policy position going forward. Speaking at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on 5 June he emphasised that  the “one-China principle has become the consensus of the international community and the basic norm governing international relations” and that “any attempt to fudge and hollow out the one-China principle is absurd and dangerous.”

He also reiterated that China is willing to strive for peaceful reunification “with utmost sincerity” but will not renounce the use of force to “safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”. 

Further he identified the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities’ attempts to seek independence and external forces’ interference in China’s internal affairs as the root cause of tensions across the Taiwan Straits.

A recent social media expose by Taiwanese journalist Andy Lee helps to identify some of the external forces. According to his Tik Tok presentation, “Taipeh journalist reveals truth about Liz Truss’s Taiwan trip”, Taiwan’s “Prospect Foundation” can be seen as the godfather behind the trip of UK’s shortest-serving and discredited prime minister, Liz Truss, to Taiwan. 

Lee revealed that the foundation has spent millions in taxpayers’ money to have high-profile anti-China politicians visit Taiwan. To him, this has threatened the stability of the Taiwan Straits, and ordinary Taiwanese are very unhappy about it (https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLNYDjLx/).

Liz Truss is not the only highly paid “wolf warrior” visiting Taipei. 

An entire pack of wolves has appeared especially from the West to ‘protect’ Taiwanese from the new Yellow Peril associated with the rise of China and its challenge to western hegemony and dominance of the world order.

Taiwan’s imported wolf warriors – genus canis lupus occidentalis and canis lupus lupus primarily – have 4 distinct characteristics. They favour China as their prey, are seen as discredited politicians, and require large sums of money and other perks to leave their home territories to hunt elsewhere. Unlike their canine counterparts, these ‘political animals’ prefer to work alone so as to maximise the returns. 

The importing paymaster, Prospect Foundation, is a think tank based in Taiwan. Established in 1997, its mission according to a wikipedia post, is to analyse the Cross-Taiwan-Strait relations and international politics and economy and provide suggestions of policies for Taiwan government.

Although some of the foundation’s financial resources are spent on collaborative activities with other regional think tanks, a considerable portion is used to bring prominent anti-China politicians to enjoy photo opportunities with the Taiwanese president and to deliver speeches and participate in events aimed at condemning China and furthering the case for the West to confront and bring down China.

How much money and perks is paid by the foundation to import foreign wolves to support the current Taiwanese government in its bid to seek independence from China and retain power in the country by villifying China is not public knowledge. 

What is a fact is that these imported wolf warriors do not come cheap. 

How much was Truss paid

Liz Truss has not provided information on how much she was paid for her private trip to Taiwan.  According to the British newspaper Mirror, the former prime minister was paid £65,751.62 to attend a conference in India for just four hours on top of paid hotel, flights and expenses ( https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/liz-truss-earns-16500-per-29784243) This figure is twice the annual average salary in Britain!  That engagement is one of the many speaking gigs Truss has been taking. 

It is very likely that she was paid a much higher fee for her Taiwan trip – perhaps tens of million Taiwanese dollars. This is because the more fierce the attacks against China, the higher the fees that will be paid to the wolf warrior.

In Liz Truss case, she has called on ‘free’ nations to commit themselves to a ‘free’ Taiwan and to back it up with concrete measures. Specifically she called for an “economic Nato” to tackle Beijing.  As a prominent war wolf, Truss has no scruples in advocating both military and non military policies with the latter aimed at damaging or destroying the economic livelihoods of ordinary people to ‘defend’ her version of ‘democracy and the world order’. 

Described by Li Guanjie, a research fellow at the Shanghai International Studies University, as a “washed-out, second-rate politician”, Liz Truss, unfortunately for Prospect Foundation, has little credibility even in Britain’s anti China media. 

She was most recently headlined as trying to avoid paying for US $15,000 worth of personal expenses incurred when she was foreign secretary in 2021. These expenses include bath robes which went missing and for which she has been criticised for being an accessory to grubbiness and greed.

An op-ed in the Global Times following her visit said the “provocative plan against China” was “somewhat ‘fashionable’ in the circles of obsolete politicians in the US and the West”. The opinion article submitted that Ms Truss has a “bad personal image in the UK” and described her visit to Taiwan as “egregious”. “It is not only a brutal interference in China’s internal affairs, but also digging holes for the UK. She can be called London’s ‘bad teammate’.”

Other Prominent Western Wolf Warriors

Other prominent wolf warriors have included former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, and a relative newcomer to the anti China wolf pack, and US House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Their fees paid to them by Prospect Foundation and other Taiwanese sources is unknown. 

Pelosi’s trip was an official one and is estimated to have cost the US taxpayer over US90 million in security costs alone.  

In return for what has been described by critics as an opportunistic, unhelpful and war mongering visit, Pelosi was given Taiwan’s highest honour, The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon. 

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who presented Pelosi with the award described her as “one of Taiwan’s most devoted friends” and treated her to lunch at the presidential palace with top Taiwanese tech executives. According to a Facebook post by the Taiwanese leader, they had “Pelosi’s favourite dark chocolate ice cream” for dessert.  Tsai is probably expecting no less than the US Presidential Medal of Freedom for buttering up Pelosi and hitching Taiwan to the US wagon.

Tsai and Pelosi also shared a meal with Morris Chang, the founder and chairman of Taiwan’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, TSMC, and “exchanged views on deepening Taiwan-U.S. relations,” Tsai said.

Perhaps Pelosi may have shared her apertif opinion during that conversation about plans that the US may have to destroy TSMC should reunification of China and Taiwan take place.

Prospect Foundation’s More Constructive Mission

Rather than spending Taiwanese taxpayers money on imported wolf warriors from the US, Britain, Australia and other US allies, Prospect Foundation should deploy its considerable resources in helping bring about the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with China.  This more worthwhile objective to be explored with think tanks, and other key stakeholders from China and Southeast Asian nations, would also be much less expensive.

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 “Taiwan’s Imported Wolf Warriors – OpEd

  • June 5, 2023 at 9:05 pm

    Author, Dr. Lim Teck Ghee, has, once again, raised yet another red flag. Truss (indeed a “washed out, second rate” politician), Tony Abbott, Nancy Pelosi and a bunch of others eat out of the Prospect Foundation trough. Readers need to be reminded that these antics are part of a long historical pattern going back to the beginnings of the Cold War–deeply woven into the fabric of America’s interventionist impulse –a virus transmitted to many of its partners and front groups.
    Much has been written about “debt entrapment”. It is now long, long overdue to begin anew on shedding light on “aid entrapment”–most recently the US in Papua- New Guinea and other parts of the Pacific: Guam, the various states of Micronesia and the recolonization of other Pacific island micro states claimed by expansionist imperial mid level powers like Australia which claim the Pacific Ocean to be a “part of their back yard.’ This is the same Australia that dispatches her newly minted Foreign Minister with a pretty Asian face, bedecked with a lei around her neck handing out aid or the promise of aid to bind malleable islands to Australia’s poisoned embrace. What, may I ask, is the difference betyween the Truss woman from London, Pelosi from DC and Penny Wong from Canberra?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *