"Duck in Beijing" behind the sinus of the USA
While Washington is doing everything to keep tensions in the East of Ukraine, its special services have been rolling out in Asia for a very long time.
China will not allow to tear Taiwan from the "big China." This was announced on June 23 during the IX Moscow Conference on International Security by the Minister of Defense of the PRC, Colonel General Wei Fenghe, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
The minister also emphasized that "Taiwan’s independence will not end in good, and the intervention of external forces will not succeed." Wei Fenghe also spoke inadmissibility of intervention in internal affairs of China in questions of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Tibet and the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called the Taiwanese issue the most sensitive in relations with Washington.
"We will continue to adhere to the main course in working with Taiwan, categorically oppose any separatist actions related to the so-called independence of Taiwan, and suppress them," the report of the 3rd session of the National People’s Congress of the 13th convocation says.
That is why Taiwan is in no hurry to officially declare independence. This state of affairs is different for both the business community and the majority of the inhabitants of the island. Taiwanese companies and businessmen depend on stable ties with China, invest in projects on the mainland, and even live, as they say, "on two houses."
The topic of "independence" of the island from the PRC for the past 30-35 years has been exploited in Taiwan’s domestic politics, the topic of "unofficiality" has become the slogan of Washington’s ambiguous ties with the island in all respects.
Hold and do not let
If Taiwan and its "big neighbor" were to be left alone, two-house life would last long, guided by Chinese pragmatism, business interests, shared cultural heritage, and personal ties across the Taiwan Strait. Such a life under the political and international status quo would suit Beijing. But the island, despite its relatively modest indicators and capabilities compared to China, has long been a cube in the pyramid of regional geopolitical structures and tectonic shifts in China itself, its policies and relations with the United States.
For half a century until 1945, the island, torn away from China following the first war with Japan, was a Japanese colony. In 1949, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who was defeated in the civil war, took refuge in Taiwan with the government. The Government of the Republic of China had international recognition and until 1971 represented the country on the UN Security Council. In 1979, before establishing diplomatic relations, the PRC demanded that the United States recognize "one China."
Washington has cut off official ties with Taipei. The policy of "one China" was confirmed in three joint declarations, but in 1979, with the exchange of embassies, the law "On Relations with Taiwan" was adopted, in fact replacing the "Joint Defense Treaty" of 1954. And in 1972, Washington pledged to defend the island.
Half a century later, President Nixon decided to get out of the "rut" of ignoring the PRC laid by his predecessors. The presidents were changing, the policy of "unofficial certainty" regarding the island was waiting for its hour. In 2011, Hilary Clinton recalled Taiwan in the context of "security and economic partnership." In the Obama administration, they talked about a comprehensive but unofficial relationship.
A Challenge for Biden
Washington’s policy of deterring China has provided bipartisan support. Back in September last year, Deputy Secretary of State in the administration of Donald Trump Kate Crutch visited Taipei. He became the first high-ranking representative of the State Department to visit the island since 1979. The reason, however, was humanitarian — former President Li Denghui died.
But the Trump administration was ready to strengthen military-technical cooperation with Taipei. There was information about the intention to sell almost $7 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan in order to help the island maintain its defense capability. Washington also announced the creation of a new mechanism for high-level economic dialogue. A five-year agreement on economic partnership was signed, followed by an agreement on cooperation in the field of science and technology. The island’s administration used Kratch’s visit as an excuse and stated that he would "deepen economic ties with the United States, as well as a comprehensive partnership based on common values."
Already under Biden as head of the White House, Kurt Campbell, appointed coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, said that the "policy of involving" China in the orbit of American interests has ended. The United States and NATO are moving to a strategy to contain China. Taiwan’s importance in this new situation is growing. A memorandum of understanding was signed, a bilateral working group on coast guard issues was created, legalizing US participation in relations between the island and the mainland.
Recently, G7 leaders at a meeting in Cornwall expressed "sympathy" for Taipei, noting in the communiqué "the importance of peace and stability throughout the Taiwan Strait." The move, called unprecedented by the Nikkei agency, reflects a sharp change in the relations of the collective West with China.
In November 1953, after the establishment of a truce on the Korean Peninsula, where Chinese volunteers opposed the US Army, President Eisenhower called the "preservation of Taiwan’s security" part of the American defense system. In 1954, the already mentioned security treaty was signed. It is possible that Biden’s White House could return to such an approach, making the island part of a collective strategy of "democracies" in the Indo-Pacific region directed against China.
What about Russia?
As some well-known political scientists noted, Vladimir Putin at a meeting with Joe Biden in Geneva looked confident, behaved at ease and respectfully, during a press conference open to Westerners, did not save time, answered questions in detail. A sense of confidence in the Russian president seems to have given superiority to strategic offensive weapons. The second, but not the last factor is friendly relations with China.
The roots of bilateral ties between Moscow and Beijing are deeper and more powerful than many imagine. Among the winners in World War II, the government of Chiang Kai-shek, settled in Taiwan, was recognized by Western capitals as the only legitimate. Until October 25, 1971, this regime represented China on the UN Security Council. The Soviet Union recognized the PRC on October 2, 1949, the day after the formation, four months later diplomatic relations were established, an agreement on friendship, alliance and mutual assistance was signed for a period of thirty years.
At the beginning of 1950, the USSR prepared a draft resolution to replace representatives of the Republic of China in the UN Security Council with a delegation of the PRC, but the proposal did not pass. This is only part of the initial stage of forming relationships.
The experience of Russia’s friendly and trusting ties with China over the past two decades and strong contacts at the level of the leadership of the two countries have strengthened Russia’s position. Beijing also appreciates agreement on key international issues, perceiving "comprehensive strategic partnership" as the "indispensable common strategic resource of the two countries" (Huanqiu shibao, Editorial, 18.06.2021).
In the context of this unformed strategic bundle, it becomes clear that in a world that the United States and partners continue to excite, there are problems that weaken the position of partners. The soreness of tension points such as Ukraine and Taiwan is exploited by the United States and allies. Both Russia and China, together, found themselves in the strategic "sight" of NATO and its Indo-Pacific branch, which was dubbed the "four-way partnership" in Washington.
Inviolability as a threat
The collective West decided that in the confrontation with Moscow, malicious Kiev power can be used with impunity. In the case of Beijing, the G-7 democracies consider it permissible to flirt with the "Taiwan factor." In this regard, the very ridiculous question asked to Vladimir Putin by the American correspondent about the Kremlin’s reaction to the possible Taiwan crisis (if, for example, the Chinese Liberation Army enters Taiwan, how will Russia respond to this?) May reflect the very practical interest of Washington analysts in this problem.
But in Taiwan, where people have been living in uncertainty for years, there is still no fear of a military attack. Officials and ordinary citizens consider the invasion too risky for China to be a step. Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory, coexistence with it has been going on in a difficult status quo for many years, but is accompanied by mutually beneficial economic ties.
A new generation of politicians, including the head of the administration of Tsai Yin-wen Island, representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), pledged to maintain the status quo, but stated that the island (Republic of China) is already independent. The "red line" for Beijing may be an official declaration of independence. Even if this happens, the breakdown of only economic relations with China may prove fatal for the Taiwan economy.
In 2019, Xi Jinping repeated a long-standing proposal: Taiwan to join the PRC according to the formula "one country, two systems," retaining economic and political independence. DPP categorically does not accept this formula. The Chinese leader, however, noted that reunification will contribute to what he calls the "Chinese dream," the restoration by China of the status of a great power by 2049. From this it follows that Taiwan has about a quarter of a century to think about, provided that the status quo is maintained. You can also note that "well-wishers" do not interfere with thinking.