Taiwan Must Not Become a Pawn in U.S.-China Confrontation

By Paul Wang

United Daily News, August 4, 2020


U.S.-China relations, starting from the trade war in 2018, has been all the way spirally sliced down. Recently, the United States closed Chinese Consulate General in Houston. As a counterattack, Chinese government closed the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu. U.S.-China relations has degraded to unprecedented low freezing point ever since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 40 years ago. In a recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bluntly expressed that the United States’ trust to China has totally collapsed, and called all democratic countries to fight communism together. It opened an ara of “Cold War 2.0” or “New Cold War”. Some people interpreted this as a preparation of “hot war” between United States and China. At this moment when President Donald Trump’s approval rating in the election campaign was far behind that of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, many people worry that President Trump may use “anti-China” as his campaign main theme.


Such worry is not ungrounded. Recently, the former chief strategist of White House and Trump’s presidential campaign advisor, Steve Bannon, who seemed to have stepped on the stage again, praised that President Trump is the only president that can fight China. He also revealed that President Trump has established the “Anti-China Strategy Office” led by Secretary Pompeo and consists of the heads of National Security Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice to make an integrated “war plan” to dissolve the Chinese Communist Party. It implies that President Trump intends to ignite a war to save his low popularity.


Take a close look at a series of anti-Chinese maneuvers: blaming China for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, protesting Hong Kong’s National Security Law, closing Consulate General in Houston, sanctioning China’s enterprises like Huawei and others, militarily penetrating the South China Sea, and inducing Taiwan to irritate mainland China. The United States not only shifted all the blames to China to ignite anti-Chinese sentiment, but also implemented some tough approaches to force China to showdown. If President Trump ignites a war overseas, then it could shift the focus of blaming his poor domestic performance to consolidate national patriotism. It may save his low popularity in presidential campaign. Compared with America’s series of provocations, China looks calm and restrained as not to fell into the trap of helping President Trump’s election campaign.  


America’s election day is now less than 100 days away. South China Sea and Taiwan are two most possible areas the United States may maneuver. Especially, Taiwan issue is mainland China’s uncompromisable core interest, once crossed the red line, the mainland will not sit idle. If so, it may reach the end of irritating the rival. Professor Emeritus Ezra Vogel of Harvard University said in an interview that there is unfortunately a possibility of armed confrontation between the two countries. Vogel added that if there is a little scuffle in the South China Sea, then it could soon escalate. A conflict over Taiwan may escalate into an all-out war that could devastate all mankind.


To face such a perilous situation, we need to figure out ways to avoid possible disasters. From now until the next three months, we should be alert. At one hand we ought not to provoke verbally, or orally, and at the other hand, we should be careful not make ourselves a pawn pushed to the frontline of China-U.S. war game. In 1979, Taiwan was forsaken as the United States severed the diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Overnight, Taiwan from an ally became an abandoned pariah.


Historical lessons are not far away. In his new book The Room Where It Happened, former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton mentioned that Taiwan is likely be the next one being abandoned after Kurdish people. It is not an unreasonable worry. If at this critical time, some American politicians showing their support of Taiwan, such as to support Taiwan to enter international organizations, recognize Taiwan’s international status, or invite President Tsai Ing-wen to visit United States, or even to study the possibilities of re-establishing official diplomatic relations with Taiwan. All these proposals may sting mainland China’s most sensitive nerves, thus break out confrontation in the Taiwan Strait. We cannot ignore this danger.


While crises are hanging over there, we hope all of us be calm and clear in mind, be alert, not to dance with America’s baton in the layout of game, and become the victim under U.S.-China confrontation. As I always mentioned before, “don’t grab China’s knife blade; and don’t be the stormtrooper of United States “. 


While two behemoths are fighting, even onlookers are in the danger of been stampeded. Therefore, the government should put Taiwan’s security and the life and fortunes of our 23 million people as its top priority. May the land that we cherish continue to keep away from war, and the people here continue to live and work happily.


From: https://udn.com/news/story/7339/4753377

〈Back to Taiwan Weekly Newsletter〉