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China-Taiwan tense relations & the role of US.

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

There is something going on with the world. First the Afghanistan war then the Russia-Ukraine war and now it's tense in Taiwan. If you see all of these geopolitical issues US is seen involved in all of them, it never shy from gathering all the attention. However what currently is happening in Taiwan? Why is there so much of drama in the news channels and why the geopolitical experts are worried that this could lead to another WAR.



Where is Taiwan and what is the issue with China?

  • Taiwan has been governed independently of China since 1949, but China views the island as part of its territory.

  • Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China (ROC) and is an island separated from China by the Taiwan Strait.

  • China is pressurizing Taiwan to give up it's independent status and pledges to unify Taiwan with it's mainland as it doesn't recognizes Taiwan as a separate nation nor does it allows other nations to do so. Taiwan has official diplomatic relations only with 14 nations in the world and China rejects it's claims to be part of UN. No government has ever simultaneously maintained formal diplomatic ties with both China and Taiwan.

  • Taiwan has its own democratically elected government and is home to twenty-three million people, political leaders have differing views on the island’s status and relations with the mainland.

  • In 1992 an understanding was reached between the China ( Chinese communist party) and then Taiwan government(the KMT party) known as the 1992 resolution. However, the two sides don’t agree on the content of this so-called consensus, and it was never intended to address the question of Taiwan’s legal status.


(Image source - cfr.org)

  • Taiwan’s KMT-drafted constitution continues to recognize China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Tibet, and the South China Sea as part of the ROC.

  • In a 2019 speech, Xi reiterated China’s long-standing proposal for Taiwan, that it be incorporated into the mainland under the formula of “one country, two systems.” This is the same formula used for Hong Kong, which was guaranteed the ability to preserve its political and economic systems and granted a “high degree of autonomy.”

  • Taiwan has reported that thousands of cyber attacks from China target its government agencies every day.

  • China also used other measures such as disrupting communications, stop of tourism and cross border trade, also pressured global corporations, including airlines and hotel chains, to list Taiwan as a Chinese province. In 2021, it cut off the trade relations with Lithuania for opening Taiwan representative office in it's capital.



What is US doing in between?

  • In 1979, the United States established formal diplomatic relations with the PRC that is Xi's China and stopped diplomatic relations with Taiwan (ROC) but still sold it's defense equipment more than $18 billion worth of arms to the military and unveiling a $250 million complex for its de facto embassy in Taipei (that is Taiwan's capital). So basically, US sell arms but doesn't talk (or doesn't want to show it's talking).

  • It rejects the use of force takeover of the island as claimed by China.

  • Recently, President Trump and President Biden on the same lines have sent it's officials to Taiwan as a strong message to China over it's aggressive nature and now their house of representative's speaker Nancy Pelosi had gone to Taiwan despite china's threat of strong reaction if she visits.

China's Foreign Minister has said previously that ""Let me make this clear: if anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight. We will fight at all costs and we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China," he said at the Shangri-la Dialogue, an Asian security summit held in Singapore.

China say's it will use peaceful means but only act if provoked by someone. So, now the USA has provoked them which quite seems clearly from the reactions that has come from with in China after the Pelosi's visit.

"Both sides are sticking to their guns on Taiwan. They need to look tough, they don't want to be seen as rolling back or stepping back," said Collin Koh, research fellow with the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.


What's happening now?

  • Nancy Pelosi after landing tweeted that, it demonstrates American solidarity with the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island, but China condemned this first such visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

  • The China- US relations are at it's very low point now and experts predict could escalate the situation that might not be good for the world after the COVID crisis and Russia- Ukraine war.

  • China immediately condemned Pelosi's visit, with the foreign ministry saying it seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, "has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity." The ministry said it lodged a strong protest with the United States.

  • The Chinese military has been put on high alert and will launch "targeted military operations" in response to Pelosi's visit, the defense ministry said.

  • The People's Liberation Army(China's army) Eastern Theatre Command announced that it will conduct joint air and sea drills near Taiwan starting on Tuesday night, and test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.

  • Pelosi also cited China's "brutal crackdown" against political dissent in Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities.

"There's no reason for this visit to become a spurring event for a crisis or conflict". White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said.

stay tuned for more..


 


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