British experts: Taiwan is like West Berlin in the Cold War London must clearly declare to defend together with the United States

British columnist Philip pointed out that Taiwan is like West Berlin during the Cold War. (Photo shows Soviet tanks approaching an Allied post in West Berlin during the Berlin Crisis) Photo: Reproduced from Wikimedia Commons/CIA

The recent frequent harassment of Taiwan by the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not only led the United States to intensify its activities around the Taiwan Strait, but has also drawn the attention of other Western countries. Damien Phillips, a British international expert, wrote earlier that Taiwan is like West Berlin in the Cold War era, and that the UK must declare clearly that it will fight with the US to defend this principled ally.

Phillips, who writes for The Telegraph and other British media, earlier quoted Albus Dumbledore, the principal of the Wizarding Academy in Harry Potter, as saying that “dark and difficult times are coming for the West and Taiwan. Soon we will all have to face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

Taiwan vowed to fight to the death if the Chinese Communist Party did invade. Just as Britain stood with its allies against the Soviet Union, Philipp points out, it should now risk its own blood and treasure to defend a Far Eastern country thousands of miles away. For Taiwan is a symbol of the global race of ideas that the West must win. Taiwan is the new West Berlin of this Cold War, and there are other similar places in the world that Britain must protect.

The London authorities’ strategic assessment, Global Britain in a Competitive Age, notes that tensions between democracies and dictatorships will increase as the latter “seek to export their domestic models, undermine open societies and economies, and shape global governance according to their values shaping global governance.”

Philipp points out that in this battle of visions, the Chinese Communist Party is a powerful threat that goes beyond military might. The CCP has been working tirelessly to seize the moral and intellectual high ground and fight the world’s psychological war. Even where it cannot win, it wants others to fear it.

Philipp points out that just as many Western intellectuals during the Soviet era boasted that the other side’s system was more effective than that of democracies, that its expansion of influence was unstoppable, and that its rise was inevitable, so too are many today portraying China that way.

Yet this underestimates the power of democracies. The belief in constitutional liberalism in democracies such as Britain has laid the foundation for our national prosperity and stability, and for our soft power superpower status. At its core is what Lord Denning called “freedom under the rule of law”; the protection of individual autonomy and dignity from coercion.

The rule of law, the right to private property, the separation of powers and checks and balances in government, freedom of speech and assembly, and freedom of religion, among others, are the cornerstones of a successful society. They promote economic vitality, peaceful cooperation, and human progress. They are resilient over time, providing the flexibility to adapt to any new challenges and seize opportunities.

Taiwan is a symbol of these ideas in action and a great example for the very few that have emerged from tyranny to become stable, prosperous, liberal democracies.

Philipp points out that, like West Berlin during the Cold War, Taiwan is not just a source of conflict: it is also a well of hope and optimism because there is a better way. This is where Britain should lend a helping hand.

Philipp points out that, in addition to Taiwan, there are a growing number of such “West Berliners” in Mongolia, Georgia and many other parts of the world, embracing and developing the idea of “freedom under the rule of law. As with Taiwan, Britain and its allies must stand with them. If we are to win the battle of ideas, we need to recognize the enormous power of the time-honored principles that built Great Britain and that continue to underpin these emerging bastions of freedom around the globe.