Today, East Asia is the scene of a sharp confrontation between two major nuclear powers – the USA and China. The situation is worsening as the Americans execute plans to contain Beijing.
The key point of contention fueling these tensions is the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, Washington has increased its supply of weapons and military equipment to the island, while assisting in revamping the armed forces of Taiwan and strongly encouraging the local government’s desire for independence.
Taiwan holds extremely important geopolitical significance for the US regime and China, representing part of the first island chain stretching from the Aleutian Islands in the north through Japan and the Philippines, to the Greater Sunda Islands in the south.
It is this ‘Pacific frontier’ that both Washington and Beijing have defined as their main line of defense. The politicians in power on Formosa (which means ‘beautiful’ in Portuguese and is a name that prevailed in Western cartography until the 20th century) in recent years have consistently pursued a policy of strengthening ties with the USA, which is fully consistent with Washington’s anti-Chinese rhetoric.
The leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has repeatedly made it clear that actions violating the One-China policy are unacceptable.
This also goes for the provisions of the three joint US-Chinese communiques of 1972-1982, which form the basis of the countries’ bilateral relations.
The rhetoric coming from the Chinese government has become increasingly belligerent recently, as the reunification of Taiwan with the motherland is a fundamental national security interest for Beijing that warrants military force to defend if necessary.
A prime example of the chaos reigning in the American establishment with respect to China is perfectly illustrated by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Taiwan in August.
The first reports about the potential trip to the island by America’s third highest office holder emerged in April 2022. However, that visit never took place, allegedly due to a positive Covid-19 test.
The White House and Pentagon are probably not yet ready for long-term and unpredictable consequences in relations with the world’s second largest economy and navy.
On July 21, President Biden said that senior US military officials do not consider Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan to be a good idea at the moment. It is worth noting that Beijing is unhappy with any signs of support for Taipei coming from Washington.
When the possibility of Pelosi’s trip was first discussed in April, four Chinese Air Force planes entered the southwestern part of the island’s self-proclaimed air defense zone.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi complained to French presidential adviser Emmanuel Bonn that the USA continues to pursue a policy of double standards on issues concerning territorial integrity and state sovereignty, while increasing turbulence in international relations.
According to the minister, Beijing considers official visits of US political leaders to Taiwan to be deliberate provocations that serve as extremely dangerous signals to the whole world.
At the same time, the Chinese authorities are ready to go further in this case than they were during the ‘Taiwan crisis’ of 1996, when Beijing, Taipei, and Washington managed to reach a compromise.
In a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June of this year, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe declared that Beijing would use force if anyone tried to tear Taiwan away from China and would fight to the bitter end.
According to the British publication, the constant maneuvers of Chinese warships around the island and the intrusion of aircraft into its ‘air defense zone’ are unequivocal evidence that preparations are being made for an imminent invasion, which can be expected as early as 2025.
It is extremely disturbing that real anti-Chinese hysteria has been gaining momentum in the USA since the Biden administration came to power.
According to research by the Pew Center, up to 89% of the country’s adult population consider China a rival or an enemy, but not a friend, while every other respondent has extremely negative views on China.
Any conflict between Washington and Beijing would not be a ‘small victorious war’ for either side. Even if the PRC fails to quickly capture Taiwan, it will persist in fighting US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
On the other hand, even if the island is lost, the Pentagon won’t curtail its operations, because all of its previous efforts would be meaningless if it doesn’t neutralize the potential of the Chinese military.
In December 2021, Foreign Affairs magazine warned Washington and Beijing that a conflict over Taiwan could prove ruinous for both themselves and most East Asian states, since the main participants could use nuclear weapons to change the situation in their favor if faced with defeat.
Undoubtedly, the USA and China still have considerable space for dialogue on issues related to Iran, North Korea, and Russia, with which Washington has not been able to develop productive relations.
However, if the White House does not stop threatening the PRC’s fundamental security interests, which undoubtedly include the ‘Taiwan issue’, Beijing will have no choice but to strengthen ties with countries that refuse to buckle to US hegemony and have suffered from its expansionist policies.
At the same time, China’s leadership, which has relied on building economic cooperation with other countries through the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as goodwill through humanitarian aid, now needs to intensify multilateral cooperation in the field of security in order to create a safe environment for the Middle Kingdom.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point WW III Blog News 2022.