Blog entry by Joanne Chuang

Anyone in the world

這些日子以來,因為對COVID 19 的應變、持續不懈的民主、和高度的生活水準,台灣有許多值得驕傲的地方(嗯…當然不包含薪資水準…這又是另一篇該好好探討的主題了!)。 但近日的一項調查,讓台灣的好名聲剎時間籠罩層陰影,一個少有人會猜想得到這文明小島的暗黑小秘密... 3個字...
I would say that with its COVID response, continued democracy and high standards of living, Taiwan has a lot to be proud about these days (well, not the salaries... - but that's another article topic!). But a recent survey has found a chink in Taiwan's reputation - a dirty secret that few would have suspected of this enlightened isle... 3 words…




現階段,幾乎所有西方民主和亞太國家都傾向支持拜登而非川普。 然而在台灣,川普的支持率是42%,拜登則是30%(與新加坡相比,拜登獲得66%的支持,而川普則是12%)。如今看來,這點似乎有跡可循,因為在川普的帶領下,美國已明顯傾向支持台灣,而非中國;這樣說來,這應該是件好事吧?
Pretty much all democratic western and Asia-Pacific nations favor Biden over Trump now. But in Taiwan, Trump is favored 42% to Biden's 30% (contrast that with Singapore where it is 66% to Biden to Trump's 12%). Now, this is pretty understandable when it appears that, under Trump, America has moved considerably towards and in favor of Taiwan over China. This can only be a good thing right?

嗯…台灣的朋友們,關於這點,我有些好消息…和壞消息。讓我們先從壞消息開始(好結尾總是不會錯!)。壞消息是:其實川普一點也不關心台灣。實際上,我甚至不太能百分百確定川普是否知道自己的立場。川普是出了名的自戀,他所做的一切都是出自利弊權衡。他只愛自己和自己的支持者。他不做沒有好處的事,他總是要得到一些回報。他背棄了許多美國昔日的盟友、無視全世界。'America first 美國優先' 是他的口頭禪。因此,若你認為他會在乎一個遠在世界一頭、不論民主與否的華人島嶼,你可得再三思了。
Well, Taiwan, I have some good news ... and bad news. Let's start with the bad (it's always best to finish on a high). The bad news is that Trump does not care about Taiwan. In fact, I am not even 100% sure he knows where it is. Trump is a known narcissist and everything he does is transactional. He loves himself and those who love him. He doesn't do anything for free - he always wants something in return. He has abandoned many of America's former allies and turned his back on the world. 'America first' is his mantra. So, if you imagine for one moment that he cares about the people of a Sino-ethnic island, democratic or not, halfway across the world - think again.

不過! 這裡有個好消息,川普不代表整個美國政府,天差地遠了!美國當局中還有許多其他有力人士,眾議院兩方(共和黨和民主黨)眼下都不怎麼欣賞中國,而其中的確有許多人真正關心台灣。 事實上,過去幾年中雙方唯一達成一致的共識是,美國需要對習近平領導下的中國採取更強硬的路線。整個美國當局已經改變過去的想法。昔日,他們的態度是“wait and see and hope 靜觀其變”,相信市場力量和更進一步地全球化趨勢終將開明、馴化中國,使其融入國際社會。不過事情不如預期,而美國已經失去耐心。
But! Here's the good news. Trump is not the whole American government - far from it. There are many other powerful people in the American government, on BOTH sides of the house (Republican and Democrat) that currently don't like China, and many who do care about Taiwan. In fact, pretty much the ONLY issue that has united the two sides over the last few years is that America needs to take a harder line against Xi Jinping's China. America, as a whole, has changed its mind. Before it was 'wait and see and hope' - trust that market forces and greater globalization will civilize and tame China and bring them into the global community. It hasn't happened, and America has run out of patience.

不僅是美國。如今許多政府都開始無視中國威嚇,即使是那些身負中國鉅額貸款的國家亦如是。 英國儘管在脫歐後急於達成貿易協定,仍舊譴責香港新法並拒絕華為參與5G網絡項目,而歐洲可能很快就會效仿。穆斯林國家不喜歡穆斯林在中國所遭受的暴行。而中國的鄰國則對中國掠奪南海感到憂心。 中國或許認為自己可以透過商業或投資來收買盟友,然而,正如英國拒絕被收買,金錢外交恐非萬能,中國的盟友版圖正在迅速縮小。
And it isn't just America. Many governments are now turning their back on China, even those who owe substantial loans to the Chinese. The UK, despite being desperate for trade deals following Brexit, has condemned Hong Kong's new laws and rejected Huawei in their 5G network, and Europe may soon follow suit. Muslim countries do not like the mistreatment of Muslims in China. China's neighbors are concerned over China's grab for the South China Sea. China may believe it can buy friends through offers of business or investment, but, as the UK's rejection has shown, money will only get it so far, and its list of allies is shrinking fast.

因此,若你認為拜登任職總統後會再次與中國交好,從而損及台灣利益,也許可以再深思一下, 拜登或許以前較親近中國,但當時的美國亦是如此。事實上,許多人認為,民主黨比起共和黨更為關心人權,他們會尋求與其他國家結盟,而非採取川普的孤立主義策略,預期會對中國採取更強硬的立場並鼓勵其他國家跟進。川普單純只想從貿易協議中獲得好處,但在美國有更多關注國際和社會的思想家,其實更關切中國(在習近平領導下)在人權和言論自由議題上的走向。拜登也許不會再發動另一場無意義的貿易戰,但這並不表示他會在中國議題上讓步。
So if you think that a Biden presidency would somehow make friends again with China to the detriment of Taiwan - think again. Biden may have been closer to China before, but then so was America as a whole. And, in fact, many think that the Democrats, who care more about human rights than the Republicans, and who will seek alliances with other nations instead of Trump's isolationist strategy, will actually take a harder line on China and encourage others to do so too. Trump just wants a good trade deal, but more internationally and socially-minded thinkers in America are more concerned about the direction China is moving (under President Xi) regarding Human Rights and Freedom of Speech. Biden might not start another pointless trade war, but that doesn't mean he's going to go easy on China.

It is painfully clear that Western and democratic nations are now in another Cold War with both Russia and China. This is terribly sad - in the 40 years I have been alive, it seems we have learned nothing at all - but, in a strange way, it is good for Taiwan. So don't fear next week's election. A win for Trump OR Biden is a win for Taiwan, but you are probably in safer hands with Biden. After all, which president do you think would be more willing to sell Taiwan to the Chinese if China gave them a fantastic trade deal?

我們有句老話:“the enemy of my enemy is my friend. 敵人的敵人就是朋友”,但有時“the enemy of my enemy is my enemy 敵人的敵人還是敵人” 也是真的。(參考電影“** Tracy狄克崔西” 中這句話的剪輯片段 )。你認為川普是哪一種角色呢?
We have an old saying: 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' But sometimes 'the enemy of my enemy is my enemy' is also true (watch this clip from the movie 'Dick Tracy' that uses this phrase:
). Which do you think Trump is, really?

[ Modified: Thursday, 22 October 2020, 4:22 PM ]