Taiwan-China tensions show no sign of lessening

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News



After months of shows of force and acts of aggression, the nations of Taiwan and China appear no closer to solving their dilemma. 

Indeed, a pair of stories released Thursday morning offer little hope of a speedy peace. 

Reuters reported that in a visit with a French delegation, a trip China warned France to avoid, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen pledged that her nation would remain a member of the international community and help foster peace in the Indo-Pacific. 

In their meetings Tsai told the French senators, “We will continue to fulfil our responsibilities as members of the international community to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We also hope to make more contributions to the world along with France.”

She did not state this to the French, but the reality for Taiwan is that to ensure anything, Tsai’s nation would have to remain, frankly, an autonomous nation. 

China – which of late has received terse condemnation from Taiwan after entering the latter’s air space on multiple occasions, showing off its air power in a veiled threat to Taiwan, and meddling in Taiwan’s efforts to join a Pacific trade pact – is adamant that it owns Taiwan, which Chinese officials refer to as Chinese Taipei. 

Taiwan, which is a democracy, has existed separately from China for more than seven decades, and China’s communist party has never governed Taiwan.

CNN and Reuters recently reported that Chiu Kuo-cheng, the defense minister of Taiwan, believes China has the capacity to launch a full-invasion on Taiwan by 2025, which makes a Thursday report in the Wall Street Journal all the more intriguing. 

The Journal reports that, for at least the last year, U.S. Marines and a special-operations unit – about two dozen military personnel – have been in Taiwan to train small groups of that nation’s military in ground and small-watercraft maneuvers. 

This training is in stark contrast to the public-facing policy the U.S. has adopted under President Joe Biden, whose administration has attempted to strike a firm-but-peaceful posture in relation to China, both socio-politically and economically. 

Earlier this week, the U.S. announced it would keep Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods in place pending good faith attempts by China to address, among other things, human rights, climate, and international relations issues. 

On Wednesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Politburo Member Yang Jiechi in Switzerland to discuss the numerous points of contention between the two world powers. 

“Mr. Sullivan raised a number of areas where we have concern with the PRC’s actions, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and Taiwan,” The White House said in a statement. “Mr. Sullivan made clear that while we will continue to invest in our own national strength and work closely with our allies and partners, we will also continue to engage with the PRC at a senior level to ensure responsible competition.”

On Wednesday, government officials reported that President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold a virtual meeting before year’s end.