US and China’s sparring on Taiwan is heating up again
US and China’s sparring on Taiwan is heating up again

US and China’s sparring on Taiwan is heating up again

WASHINGTON: The United States and China are escalating their war of words Taiwan in a protracted strife that has significant consequences for the dynamics of power in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Amid a rise in Chinese military activity near the island, which China considers an apostate province and has promised to regain by force if necessary, Washington and Beijing have launched new global support campaigns for their respective positions, each using the strict and high language. sovereignty and international precedent. And none of them retire.
Although the disagreement over Taiwan is not new and has long bothered relations between the countries, recent developments suggest that the two are approaching confrontation. Last week, President Joe Biden set off the alarm bells in Beijing, saying the United States has a firm commitment to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of a Chinese attack.
China protested, and the Biden administration tried to downplay the comments. Officials at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon all said the president did not mean to imply any changes to U.S. “one-China policy” that recognizes Beijing but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei.
Officials went to great lengths to say that the United States’ commitment to Taiwan remains steadfast, but continues to be governed by a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over military-related details that does not live up to a treaty-bound mutual defense pact. Since then, however, the administration has screwed up on the diplomatic front.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken on Tuesday publicly called on other UN members to reject China’s claim to absolute sovereignty over Taiwan and join the United States in supporting Taipei’s independent participation in international organizations related to transport, health, climate change, culture and education.
“As the international community faces an unprecedented number of complex and global issues, it is vital for all stakeholders to help address these issues,” Blinken said in a statement. “ This includes the 24 million people living in Taiwan. Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one. ”
He noted that Taiwan has been prevented from attending meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization, despite being an important transit hub and the World Health Organization, despite providing an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the United Nations and its related bodies, all of which will benefit greatly from its contribution,” Blinken said. “That is why we call on all UN member states to join us in supporting Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to elaborate on what the administration would define as “meaningful participation”.
Blinken’s statement came just five days after Biden’s remarks on Taiwan’s defense and only two days after the State Department announced that senior US and Taiwanese officials had met virtually to discuss expanding Taiwan’s participation in the UN and other international groups.
At the October 22 meeting, “administration officials reiterated the United States’ commitment to Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and discussed ways to highlight Taiwan’s ability to contribute to action on a wide range of issues,” the State Department said.
Aside from complaining about Biden’s initial comments, China reacted angrily to the discussion, criticizing the administration for making “irresponsible statements” encouraging Taiwanese independence, and calling for an end to US “official contacts” with the island’s government. .
“Taiwan’s participation in activities of international organizations must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman. Wang Wenbin said. “Taiwan’s attempt to expand its so-called ‘international space’ with foreign support is, by its very nature, seeking to expand the space for ‘Taiwan’s independence and secession. It will certainly end in failure.'”
Back and forth play against the backdrop of increasing warfare from both sides to the other, even though they claim to have common interests in issues ranging from trade to climate to North Korea. The ratio has plunged to new lows since nose diving below Trump administration, which adopted a confrontational approach to trade, visas, diplomatic representation and educational exchange.
While both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have been firm in their opposition to Chinese activities in Tibet, Hong Kong, China’s western Xinjiang region and the South China Sea, the Taiwan issue goes before most of these annoyances.
China has recently increased its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary by flying warplanes near the island and practicing beach landings.
China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949. The United States severed formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 to recognize Beijing. The United States does not openly challenge China’s claim to Taiwan, but is required by law to ensure that the island can defend itself and to treat all threats against it as serious concerns.
Under President Xi Jinping, which is also the leader of the Communist Party and leader of the armed forces, China has increased the military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. During its National Day weekend earlier this month, China sent a record 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations, causing Taiwan to distort aircraft and activate its air defense missile systems.
China has also recently held beach landing exercises on its side of the approximately 160-kilometer-wide (100-mile-wide) Taiwan Strait, which it, like the plane’s intrusion, described as a warning to Tsai Ing-wen’s administration.
The United States has stepped up its support for Taiwan with military sales.

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