Implications of US Intervention in Taiwan

By: Salar Sayyid

The Taiwan visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck a serious blow to US-China relations as Beijing received it as a brazen intervention in its internal affairs and a total disregard for its territorial integrity. The visit was clearly aimed at supporting anti-reunification forces in Taiwan, besides giving an indication of the US game plan to create a hostile environment for China in the region and around.

As expected, China strongly reacted to this situation and minced no words to underline that it was least willing to make a compromise on its sovereignty and One China Policy. As a responsible state, it did everything possible to forewarn Pelosi about the consequences of her visit to Taiwan.
For instance, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. Zhao Lijian stressed in a press briefing that:

Mr. Zhao Lijian stressed in a press briefing that “a visit to Taiwan by her would constitute a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, wantonly trample on the One-China principle, greatly threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, severely undermine China-US relations and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences.”

The defense spokesperson of China also warned that the Chinese military will not sit back if Pelosi goes ahead with her plan to visit Taiwan. Earlier, President Xi in a telephonic talk with his US counterpart warned him about the consequences of any intervention in Taiwan, before underlining that “those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this. The US should honor the One-China principle and implement the three joint communiqués both in word and in deed.”

Despite all these clear warnings, Pelosi went ahead with her plan to visit Taiwan which forced China to take due steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.  As a display of its commitment to the One China Policy, the Chinese militaryresponded to the situation most befittingly. Several of its planes entered the defense zone of Taiwan while the naval ships also moved in to make a statement of their firm intention of readiness to face any eventuality.

The statements made by Pelosi in Taiwan left no doubt behind that the US is intentionally heating up the situation in the region which can have far-reaching consequences. China has taken her statement very seriously that “the US would never abandon Taiwan” and “Chinese anger cannot stop world leaders from traveling to the self-ruled island.” Such statements have only poisoned the situation more because of her high-level position as leader of the House of Representatives. She is the first speaker of the house to visit Taiwan in 25 years since Newt Gingrich in 1997.

A dispassionate look at her visit of Taiwan makes it crystal clear that the US has, practically speaking, backed out of its long-held assurance to China of not supporting the “independence” of Taiwan. Pelosi’s speech after the meeting with Tsai indicates that the US has decided to follow a confrontationist policy vis-à-vis China, especially with regards to the so-called issue of democracy and human rights. Furthermore, it intends to open up several fronts for China at a time in addition to the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, the US still remains enslaved by the cold war mentality and is least willing to pay heed to the suggestions by China to work together for the collective good and elimination of poverty and deprivation from the world. This can also be gauged from the fact that it has tried to gang up with different regional countries under the garb of different accords and strategic partnerships to undermine the economic rise and military prowess of China. It has to realize that all such overtures will only create more disturbances and security challenges in the region and beyond.

Furthermore, the world is already confronting with the after effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis which, apart from many other issues, has resulted into a disruption in food and energy supply chain. Many countries, such as Sri Lanka, have either already defaulted or faced with this threat because of the rising oil prices. Any reckless step by the US in South China Sea or Taiwan will for sure create a massive economic crisis the world over and no one will be able to reverse it at will.

Last but not the least, reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is a national obligation upon the current leadership of China and it is within its rights to take due steps towards that end.