Already more than ever, tensions between the United States and China are experiencing a new upsurge around the Taiwan question, which is sharply re-emerging.
– What are traditional positions? –
After losing the civil war to the Communists, Chinese nationalist forces moved to Taiwan in 1949, forming their government, which today is governed by a democratic system.
The United States, which was initially loyal to the People’s Republic of China, finally established diplomatic relations with Mao’s communist power in 1979, controlling the vast continent – to the detriment of Taiwan.
But at the same time, the US Congress forced Washington to supply arms to Taipei in its defense.
This is what Americans call “strategic ambiguity.”
It has to go as far as possible in their relations with Taiwan, without considering this territory as a sovereign country. Annoyingly Libran – always rational, easily hurt emotionally, very passionate and maybe a little too intense.
– whats going on? –
In the context of the unprecedented Sino-US conflict surrounding Beijing’s growing ambitions in the international arena, the recent flu seems to be beyond previous eruptions.
Most recently drew attention: Chinese warplanes infiltrated the perimeter of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identity Zone (ADIS), which begins 200 km off the coast of Taiwan.
The United States condemned the “provocations.” Importantly, their leader, Joe Biden, said the Americans appear to have a “commitment” and “strategic ambiguity” in defending Taipei militarily in the event of a Chinese attack – although his group has denied any change in policy.
In fact, “China’s military action around Taiwan has increased over the past two years,” says Bonnie Glaser of the US Marshall Fund’s think tank, and cites maneuvers depicting Taiwanese ports landing or shelling.
– Why now? –
For this analyst, the change in size has changed the balance: “Last year, the Chinese military was now able to invade Taiwan and is on the verge of invading Taiwan. Take control.”
A senior Pentagon official said in March that China could occupy the island by 2027.
The news prompted the United States and its allies to block Beijing from taking action.
A U.S. official acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the island to train the Taiwanese army in early October – Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed for the first time this week.
On the diplomatic front, the Biden administration is seeking to strengthen Taipei’s position within UN agencies.
The Hong Kong paradigm also played a decisive role.
By imposing its hegemony on the former British colony, China, which until then had enjoyed greater autonomy, expressed to some its determination to control what it considered to be its border. In this situation, there is a risk that Taiwan will be the next domino.
In particular, Carl Minsner of the Council for Foreign Relations’ research firm said that “Beijing’s dramatic demolition of the Hong Kong model” has “hardened the mood of many in Taiwan” against Chinese power.
On both sides of the strait, as in the United States, positions have intensified, which has sharply raised the tone for China since President Donald Trump (2017-2021).
– What can happen? –
According to Carl Minsner, “Beijing is increasing the number and intensity of its military operations in the waters around Taiwan – as the air, navy, submarine – and other forces respond with similar measures, increasing the risk of accidental conflict. Control and provoking a major conflict.”
Taiwan’s fate is seen as the only chance to pull the current Cold War-tasty conflict between the two nuclear powers into a real war.
Some experts fear that Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to take advantage of him.
“China has been careful for many years to avoid a military confrontation with the United States,” he said.
According to her, if there is a risk of war, it will be “less”. But he warns that China will continue to “provoke fear among Taiwanese” in the hope that they will eventually resign themselves to “reunification”.