US, China fight over Taiwan again – Times of India

WASHINGTON: US, China escalate war of words Taiwan in a long-standing dispute that has important implications for power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Amid an increase in Chinese military activity near the island that China considers a renegade province and has vowed to retake by force if necessary, Washington and Beijing have launched new campaigns for global support for their respective positions, each using the harsh and noble language of sovereignty and international precedent. And neither of them backs down.
While the disagreement over Taiwan is nothing new and has long thwarted relations between the countries, recent developments suggest the two are moving closer to confrontation. Last week, President Joe Biden sounded the alarm bells in Beijing by declaring that the United States was firmly committed to helping Taiwan defend itself in the event of a Chinese attack.
China protested, and the Biden administration sought to downplay the comments. Officials from the White House, State Department and the Pentagon all said the president did not want to involve changes in the United States’ “one China policy”, which recognizes Beijing but allows informal relations and defense links with Taipei.
Officials were careful to say that the United States’ commitment to Taiwan remains steadfast but continues to be guided by a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over military specifics that does not correspond to a mutual defense pact enshrined in a treaty. Since then, however, the administration has raised the bar on the diplomatic front.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday publicly urged other members of the United Nations to reject China’s assertion of absolute sovereignty over Taiwan and join the United States in supporting Taipei’s independent participation in related international organizations. transport, health, climate change, culture and education.
“As the international community faces an unprecedented number of complex and global issues, it is essential that all stakeholders help resolve these issues,” Blinken said in a statement. “ This includes the 24 million people who live in Taiwan. Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the United Nations system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one. ”
He noted that Taiwan has been barred from attending meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization despite being a major transit hub and the World Health Organization despite having established an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the UN and its related organs, all of which will greatly benefit from its contributions,” Blinken said. “That is why we encourage all UN member states to join us in participation throughout the UN system and in the international community.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment on what the administration would define as “meaningful participation.”
Blinken’s statement came just five days after Biden’s remarks on Taiwan’s defense and just two days after the State Department announced that senior U.S. and Taiwanese officials have met virtually to discuss the expansion of Taiwan’s participation in the UN and other international groups.
At this October 22 meeting, administration officials “reiterated the United States’ commitment to Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Organization and the United Nations Framework Convention on Changes. climate change and discussed ways to highlight Taiwan’s ability to contribute to efforts on a wide range of issues, “” the State Department said.
In addition to complaining about Biden’s initial comments, China has reacted angrily to the discussion, criticizing the administration for making “irresponsible statements” that encourage Taiwan independence and demanding an end to “official contacts” Americans with the island government.
“Taiwan’s participation in the activities of international organizations should be managed in accordance with the one-China principle,” said the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry. Wang wenbin noted. “Taiwan’s attempts to expand its so-called ‘international space’ with foreign support are inherently aimed at expanding the space for ‘Taiwan independence’ and secession. It will surely end in failure.”
The back-and-forth takes place amid growing belligerence on both sides towards each other, even as they profess to have common interests on issues ranging from trade and climate to North Korea. . Relationships have plunged to new lows since they plunged under the Asset administration, which has taken a confrontational approach to trade, visas, diplomatic representation and educational exchanges.
While former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have strongly opposed Chinese activities in Tibet, Hong Kong, China’s western Xinjiang region, and the South China Sea, the Taiwan issue predates most of these irritants.
China recently increased its threat to bring Taiwan under its much-needed force by flying warplanes near the island and repeating beach landings.
China and Taiwan separated in a civil war in 1949. The United States severed formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing. The United States does not openly contest China’s claim to Taiwan, but has committed itself by law to ensuring that the island can defend itself and to treat all threats against it as matters of serious concern.
Sub President Xi Jinping, who is also leader of the Communist Party and head of the armed forces, China has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. During its national holiday weekend earlier this month, China sent a record 149 military planes to southwest Taiwan in strike group formations, prompting Taiwan to jam the planes and activate its systems. of air defense missiles.
China also recently held beach landing exercises on its approximately 160-kilometer-wide (100-mile-wide) side of the Taiwan Strait, which it described, like the air incursions, as a warning to the administration of Tsai Ing-wen.
The United States has stepped up its support for Taiwan with military sales.

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