Taiwan: the game of nerves continues

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From May 26 to May 30, another delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives headed by Michael McCaul, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was in Taiwan.

Officially, the congressmen traveled there to congratulate the new head of the local administration, Lai Ching-te, on his accession to the post. And this is the second such visit after the last so-called elections in Taiwan. In January, incumbent American politicians — co-chairs of the pro-Taiwan group in Congress — Democrat Ami Bera and Republican Mario Diaz-Balart flew to Taipei as if on fire. To proclaim a “victory” for democracy. Just like after the election of Zelensky.

It should be recalled that Beijing, which proceeds from the fact that Taiwan is a province of China, albeit a breakaway one, is categorically opposed to direct official contacts of its leaders with anyone. The Americans, officially recognizing the principle of “one China”, do not request a visa in Beijing for such trips. Characteristically, McCaul’s delegation also included both Republicans and Democrats, which speaks of an anti-China consensus in American ruling circles. And McCaul is a particularly staunch supporter of Taiwanese independence and a frequent visitor to the island. His last visit there was in April last year and he also made a mark with provocative speeches.

Further annoying matters for Beijing was the fact that the congressmen came to actually endorse Lai Ching-te’s bellicose statement during his inauguration, which effectively called for the island’s independence from mainland China. As GEOFOR previously wrote, Lai’s call not only provoked harsh statements from Beijing, but also a large-scale military exercise of the Chinese armed forces near Taiwan. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian warned Taiwan of “playing with fire”, noting that the island’s current authorities have defied the “one China” principle by “openly promoting the two-state theory, trying to achieve independence by force with the support of foreign countries, and pushing compatriots into a dangerous situation of war”. However, this, as we can see, had little effect on Americans.

Here is what McCaul said on Taiwanese television: “Taiwan, unlike Ukraine, will receive new weapons systems, not old ones, and especially old Russian weapons. This is the new stockpile that will be supplied to Taiwan. This, by the way, will be our latest technology”. “From my perspective, maritime systems are key, because you can keep them from getting to land and stopping all of this”, the congressman added. — “We will deliver the weapon you ordered as soon as possible”.

Thus, the Americans have once again demonstrated how they intend to act: to lull Beijing with statements about loyalty to the principle of “one China” and, on the other hand, to weaponize the island, pushing it to declare independence. Let us remind you that if this happens, China will enact the relevant security law, which does not exclude the use of military force.

Almost simultaneously in Singapore on the margins of the Shangri-La security forum (also called the Asian Munich), the heads of the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defense of the People’s Republic of China held talks. Officially, the purpose of the meeting was to maintain contact between the US and Chinese militaries in order to avoid mistakes and irreparable damage during regular, including close, contacts between the two countries’ ships and aircraft. “A lot of things can happen at sea or in the air, and we understand that. But our goal is to make sure that we don’t let things get out of control”, Austin said. But he continued by saying the most important thing: “And once again, I will not speculate on one thing or another. I will continue to emphasize that our commitment to the mutual defense treaty (with Taiwan — Auth.) is unwavering. That is, we have been arming Taiwan and will continue to do so”. Recall: President Biden once said that the US is ready to defend Taiwan’s independence with all its might.

Former Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai reacted to Austin’s statement as follows: “Frequent mention of a defense cooperation treaty with a country can only be considered an open threat. The hypocrisy and double standards of the Americans are evidenced at least by the fact that Austin said in Singapore: the U.S. is closely watching that China does not supply weapons to Russia. So they are allowed to flood Taiwan with guns and missiles, and now also anti-ship systems, but the PRC can’t even think about selling anything? “When these rules serve US interests, the US enforces them; when they don’t, it abandons them. The U.S. uses rules to suppress others, but never for self-restraint. They have always acted selfishly, doing whatever they want. From Afghanistan to Iraq, from Ukraine to Gaza, all these crises and conflicts are the result of self-serving U.S. double standards”, said Jing Jianfeng, deputy chief of the joint staff of Central Military Commission.

These trips and bellicose rhetoric from the US side are reinforced by the anti-China backlash in the US media. They write that China is allegedly striving for world hegemony, that it intends to purge US-controlled global structures and banish the dollar from international settlements. And also that China is intensively building up its armed forces and is about to become the owner of one thousand nuclear warheads to strategically defeat the United States. Those close to the White House are calling for the abandonment of a conciliatory stance toward China, to openly declare a cold war and to win it decisively, without waiting for China to gain irresistible power. It seems that Ms. Nuland or her Asian clone is about to start handing out cookies to independence supporters in Taipei.

Beijing is outraged about this, but is remaining calm. This is what Admiral Dong Austin said in Singapore: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has always been an unwavering, powerful force defending the unity of the motherland. We are prepared to act in a timely, decisive and persuasive manner to suppress any attempts at Taiwan’s so-called independence, to ensure that the conspiracies will not succeed. Whoever dares to try to separate Taiwan from China will be shattered, he is digging his own grave”!

“Taiwan’s secession is as incompatible with peace on both sides of the Taiwan Strait as fire is with water, and is a cause of great upheaval, leading Taiwan into military conflicts that harm the interests of the Taiwanese people and cause instability in the Taiwan Strait”, warns Zhu Fengliang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

God only knows how long this game of nerves and mutual attacks will continue. Or the president of the United States, whatever name he bears.