Chen Xiangsecond and Song Runqian: The war in Ukraine is raging, but he smells "smoke of gunpowder" in Taiwan Strait


2022-05-16: [Article Link]  [Man/Observer Network columnist Chan Sang-sim Song Yun-si] Since late February, the United States has frequently taken advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to contribute to the Taiwan issue. From the end of February, when he retired, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marlene, followed by a high-level security delegation composed of the former Deputy Minister of Defence, Frunoua, and the former Deputy National Security Adviser, Oshalivin, took a low profile until 2 to 5 March, when a high-profile cross-party, senior delegation led by Secretary of State Pempeo met with the main political figures in the island, including Tsai English, the regional leader, and, in early April, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Palosi, announced an attempted visit plan, and on 11 March, President Biden signed the 2022 Federal Government Appropriations Act, which contained the “prohibition of the production, procurement or display of any map of the territory of Taiwan with government funds”, which the United States recently described as a “top-down” in the Taiwan issue. On April 5, Japan’s defense minister, Nobushi Arishi, claimed that it was important to curb China’s actions in order to avoid a situation in the Taiwan Strait, and that it would pay a high price for supporting Ukraine as a deterrent to China’s “powerful change of the status quo.” Instead, the authorities of the Taiwan National Progressive Party (DPP) took the opportunity to echo the American-Japanese position and use the island's fear of “Tomorrow Ukraine Taiwan” and public opinion to speed up military purchases and create a climate of impunity for the war on armaments. In a sense, the smoke smell of the Taiwan Sea does not seem to be lost at all in the main battleground of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which is tens of thousands of kilometres away. While we have always stressed that the Taiwan issue is two distinct issues from the crisis in Ukraine, the intention of the authorities of the United States, Japan and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to confuse the two cannot be without concern, especially as regards the new variables that the situation in the Taiwan Strait may bring. The question of Taiwan is fundamentally different from the Ukrainian crisis. As United States Secretary of Defense Austin admitted to the House of Representatives of Congress on 5 April, careful comparison of the Taiwan issue with the Ukrainian crisis, the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has already made clear the essential difference between the two issues. Both sides were identical, and after the end of the Second World War, Taiwan, together with the islands of Xianghu and others, were returned to Chinese sovereignty, in accordance with the Cairo Declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation of 1945. In the ensuing civil war of the Communist Republic, the remnants of the defeated Kuomintang military junta withdrew from Taiwan and “cut off the side” with the support of the United States. The historical context of Ukraine’s crisis is all the more complex. Ukraine has been in the process of integrating and collapsing different religions, civilizations, and powers in East and West Europe, and this particular historical entanglement has perpetuated a huge “difference” between the East and West parts of the country, as well as between different political forces. Ukraine's capital, Kiev, was an important birthplace for Russian civilization, most of which had been part of the Russian Empire for a long time, and “East Ukraine”, which had been one of the founding members of the Soviet Union. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became a truly sovereign and independent state. Complex historical experiences, coupled with the impact of Western power, ideology, and religion, slowly plunged Ukraine into a “disappearance” in the direction of domestic political development, which is at the root of the crisis. The Ukrainian crisis is the end of a competition for State power and is essentially the result of a step-by-step break in the geopolitical landscape between Europe and East and West since the end of the cold war, and of a growing power competition between countries to which you have come. On 25 October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 2758, which made it clear that the People's Republic of China was the sole legitimate representative of the United Nations. This resolution has resolved the question of China’s representation in the United Nations and in international institutions legally, politically and procedurally. As of December 2021, 181 sovereign countries across the globe had recognized the fact that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China. Moreover, the two issues are already on a very different path. While cross-Strait relations have been falling and falling since the 1950s, the principle of “nine-two consensus” has been agreed upon as a temporary arrangement for dealing with the special relationship between the current two sides of the Strait. By contrast, the contradiction surrounding Ukraine is characterized by a spiralling spiral. Although NATO signed the Partnership for Peace Plan and the Basic Agreement with Russia in 1994 and 1997, and established the NATO-Russia Council, promising Russia a certain say in NATO affairs, this wave does not mean that NATO will stop the pace of power expansion. The process of large-scale “eastern expansion” began with the admission of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO in 1999, after which 11 countries — Romania, Bulgaria and others — were paid to construct the Baltic Sea in the north, the arc circle of Central Asia via the Black Sea — a giant military bloc with a total population of 938 million, an area of more than 20,000 square kilometres, and military expenditures accounting for more than 70 per cent of the world's defence expenditure. It was NATO that extended its reach to more than 1,000 kilometres in less than 20 years, breaking the dynamic balance that could have been maintained in Western and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even intensifying its attempts to extend its tentacles into Ukraine, which has complex historical ties with Russia, that led to today's armed crisis. On 22 October 2021, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austen, attended the NATO Defence Secretary's meeting and reiterated that the United States would continue to provide assistance to the Taiwan region, but refused to specify whether there would be military intervention. There's a deal between the three sides. As can be seen from the statements of United States Secretary of Defense Austin, the decision-making team and Congress of the Biden Government are not unaware of the dramatic difference between the Taiwan issue and the crisis in Ukraine, but they are aware of the fact that intensive arrangements have been made for a higher-level delegation to visit Taiwan at one time than once, allowing former Secretary of State Pompeo to publicly speak out on the radical rhetoric of “The US should support Taiwan's independence”, while demonstrating force by sending warships across the Taiwan Strait, jointly developing ultrasound weapons with Japan and Australia, and deploying an additional Los Angeles offensive nuclear submarine on Guam. First, hoping to stabilize the military by taking a tough stance on the Taiwan issue. Just this past February, Biden, in his statement, assured Ukraine that the US would respond “promptly and decisively” to any further “aggression” by Russia against Ukraine, but that the US’s response, which was after a dramatic period, raised some questions about the effectiveness of its security commitments by global allies and partners, including in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, a poll by agencies on the island of Taiwan on “whether or not to believe that the United States will defend Taiwan against the conflict in the Taiwan Strait” found that 55.9 per cent of the respondents to the conflict had “no” and that the selection of “yes” had fallen from 65 per cent last year to 34.5 per cent. To this end, the Biden Government has confirmed several times to its allies and partners, including Japan, Singapore and India, since the outbreak of the conflict in Russia-Ukraine, that the United States Indo-Pacific strategy will not be distracted by this, reaffirming its security commitment. At this level, overcoming some of the allies' doubts, stabilizing partners' military agendas and ensuring that the Alliance and the Partnership's strategy move forward smoothly is one of the main considerations of the United States' continued “plus” on the Taiwan issue. Second, trying to deter China’s mainland. Since the outbreak of the conflict, the US State Council, the Ministry of Defence, and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly have moved on to various sides of the opposition, linking the two to a strong voice. Under-Secretary of State Sherman and Minister of Finance Yellen, on 6 April, stated that “any seizure of Taiwan by force is unacceptable” and that “if mainland China moves against Taiwan, the United States is prepared to impose sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia”, and that on 14 April the State Security Adviser, Shali, stated that “there is a clear security partnership between the United States and Taiwan under the `Taiwan Relations Act'”, and that the United States would “take all possible measures” to ensure that China does not “invade” Taiwan. The Biden Government seems to be doing its utmost to send a signal to mainland China that “the use of force against Taiwan is not desirable”. Of even greater concern is the fact that the Biden Government acquiesced in Pompeyo's public support for “Taiwan independence” in a “semi-official” capacity, a phenomenon that did not even occur in the Trump Government, which is the most visible expression of the “Taiwan independence” by the United States since the cold war and which in part reflects the “preventive diplomacy” that Biden's Government is carrying out in an attempt to make the mainland of China “free” by “lighting the bottom card”. Third, “coercion” of China’s cooperation in sanctioning Russia. After the United States and the West imposed sanctions on Russia, Western public opinion triggered a wave of “Chinese blood transfusions to Russia.” While it is clear to the United States that China will not participate in unilateral sanctions against Russia, it is still trying to avoid, through persuasion and pressure, that China will become a credit to Russia for easing the pressure of external sanctions. These successive White House officials are part of the “coercion” strategy of the United States, using the issue of Taiwan, among other things, as the “punishment” of the Chinese mainland to support Russia, as Secretary of State Blinken called it. On the other hand, the “Taiwan independence” road, which has served little in the six years since the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, has taken the opportunity to stage a conflict between Russia and Ukraine in order to achieve three objectives: to create a sense of threat and resistance to the mainland among the island's population, to promote the arms purchase and the “Taiwan independence” process, to bind the United States as a leaner, and to create a so-called “stand-up” camp on a global scale. In addition, Japan, which is a major pillar of the United States in Asia and the Pacific, has made clear its pronouncements and moves to use the crisis as an opportunity to expand its influence, particularly by strengthening cooperation with countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in areas such as cybersecurity, intelligence, ultra-sonic weapons, and the issue of Taiwan has once again become an important feature of Japan's advocacy of the “China threat”. The situation in the Taiwan Strait is a three-pronged source of anxiety. The current situation in the Taiwan Strait faces the most complex international and regional context since the end of the cold war, with at least three challenges. The first is that the authorities took the initiative to “send arms” to the Western American group on the basis of the U.S. crisis and to promote “asymmetric tactics” within the island to accelerate the pace of weapons and equipment, which is undoubtedly a test of the patience of the mainland China.


Note: This is a translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.



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Chen Xiangsecond and Song Runqian: The war in Ukraine is raging, but he smells "smoke of gunpowder" in Taiwan Strait


2022-05-16: [Article Link]  [Man/Observer Network columnist Chan Sang-sim Song Yun-si] Since late February, the United States has frequently taken advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to contribute to the Taiwan issue. From the end of February, when he retired, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marlene, followed by a high-level security delegation composed of the former Deputy Minister of Defence, Frunoua, and the former Deputy National Security Adviser, Oshalivin, took a low profile until 2 to 5 March, when a high-profile cross-party, senior delegation led by Secretary of State Pempeo met with the main political figures in the island, including Tsai English, the regional leader, and, in early April, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Palosi, announced an attempted visit plan, and on 11 March, President Biden signed the 2022 Federal Government Appropriations Act, which contained the “prohibition of the production, procurement or display of any map of the territory of Taiwan with government funds”, which the United States recently described as a “top-down” in the Taiwan issue. On April 5, Japan’s defense minister, Nobushi Arishi, claimed that it was important to curb China’s actions in order to avoid a situation in the Taiwan Strait, and that it would pay a high price for supporting Ukraine as a deterrent to China’s “powerful change of the status quo.” Instead, the authorities of the Taiwan National Progressive Party (DPP) took the opportunity to echo the American-Japanese position and use the island's fear of “Tomorrow Ukraine Taiwan” and public opinion to speed up military purchases and create a climate of impunity for the war on armaments. In a sense, the smoke smell of the Taiwan Sea does not seem to be lost at all in the main battleground of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which is tens of thousands of kilometres away. While we have always stressed that the Taiwan issue is two distinct issues from the crisis in Ukraine, the intention of the authorities of the United States, Japan and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to confuse the two cannot be without concern, especially as regards the new variables that the situation in the Taiwan Strait may bring. The question of Taiwan is fundamentally different from the Ukrainian crisis. As United States Secretary of Defense Austin admitted to the House of Representatives of Congress on 5 April, careful comparison of the Taiwan issue with the Ukrainian crisis, the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has already made clear the essential difference between the two issues. Both sides were identical, and after the end of the Second World War, Taiwan, together with the islands of Xianghu and others, were returned to Chinese sovereignty, in accordance with the Cairo Declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation of 1945. In the ensuing civil war of the Communist Republic, the remnants of the defeated Kuomintang military junta withdrew from Taiwan and “cut off the side” with the support of the United States. The historical context of Ukraine’s crisis is all the more complex. Ukraine has been in the process of integrating and collapsing different religions, civilizations, and powers in East and West Europe, and this particular historical entanglement has perpetuated a huge “difference” between the East and West parts of the country, as well as between different political forces. Ukraine's capital, Kiev, was an important birthplace for Russian civilization, most of which had been part of the Russian Empire for a long time, and “East Ukraine”, which had been one of the founding members of the Soviet Union. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became a truly sovereign and independent state. Complex historical experiences, coupled with the impact of Western power, ideology, and religion, slowly plunged Ukraine into a “disappearance” in the direction of domestic political development, which is at the root of the crisis. The Ukrainian crisis is the end of a competition for State power and is essentially the result of a step-by-step break in the geopolitical landscape between Europe and East and West since the end of the cold war, and of a growing power competition between countries to which you have come. On 25 October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 2758, which made it clear that the People's Republic of China was the sole legitimate representative of the United Nations. This resolution has resolved the question of China’s representation in the United Nations and in international institutions legally, politically and procedurally. As of December 2021, 181 sovereign countries across the globe had recognized the fact that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China. Moreover, the two issues are already on a very different path. While cross-Strait relations have been falling and falling since the 1950s, the principle of “nine-two consensus” has been agreed upon as a temporary arrangement for dealing with the special relationship between the current two sides of the Strait. By contrast, the contradiction surrounding Ukraine is characterized by a spiralling spiral. Although NATO signed the Partnership for Peace Plan and the Basic Agreement with Russia in 1994 and 1997, and established the NATO-Russia Council, promising Russia a certain say in NATO affairs, this wave does not mean that NATO will stop the pace of power expansion. The process of large-scale “eastern expansion” began with the admission of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to NATO in 1999, after which 11 countries — Romania, Bulgaria and others — were paid to construct the Baltic Sea in the north, the arc circle of Central Asia via the Black Sea — a giant military bloc with a total population of 938 million, an area of more than 20,000 square kilometres, and military expenditures accounting for more than 70 per cent of the world's defence expenditure. It was NATO that extended its reach to more than 1,000 kilometres in less than 20 years, breaking the dynamic balance that could have been maintained in Western and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even intensifying its attempts to extend its tentacles into Ukraine, which has complex historical ties with Russia, that led to today's armed crisis. On 22 October 2021, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austen, attended the NATO Defence Secretary's meeting and reiterated that the United States would continue to provide assistance to the Taiwan region, but refused to specify whether there would be military intervention. There's a deal between the three sides. As can be seen from the statements of United States Secretary of Defense Austin, the decision-making team and Congress of the Biden Government are not unaware of the dramatic difference between the Taiwan issue and the crisis in Ukraine, but they are aware of the fact that intensive arrangements have been made for a higher-level delegation to visit Taiwan at one time than once, allowing former Secretary of State Pompeo to publicly speak out on the radical rhetoric of “The US should support Taiwan's independence”, while demonstrating force by sending warships across the Taiwan Strait, jointly developing ultrasound weapons with Japan and Australia, and deploying an additional Los Angeles offensive nuclear submarine on Guam. First, hoping to stabilize the military by taking a tough stance on the Taiwan issue. Just this past February, Biden, in his statement, assured Ukraine that the US would respond “promptly and decisively” to any further “aggression” by Russia against Ukraine, but that the US’s response, which was after a dramatic period, raised some questions about the effectiveness of its security commitments by global allies and partners, including in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, a poll by agencies on the island of Taiwan on “whether or not to believe that the United States will defend Taiwan against the conflict in the Taiwan Strait” found that 55.9 per cent of the respondents to the conflict had “no” and that the selection of “yes” had fallen from 65 per cent last year to 34.5 per cent. To this end, the Biden Government has confirmed several times to its allies and partners, including Japan, Singapore and India, since the outbreak of the conflict in Russia-Ukraine, that the United States Indo-Pacific strategy will not be distracted by this, reaffirming its security commitment. At this level, overcoming some of the allies' doubts, stabilizing partners' military agendas and ensuring that the Alliance and the Partnership's strategy move forward smoothly is one of the main considerations of the United States' continued “plus” on the Taiwan issue. Second, trying to deter China’s mainland. Since the outbreak of the conflict, the US State Council, the Ministry of Defence, and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly have moved on to various sides of the opposition, linking the two to a strong voice. Under-Secretary of State Sherman and Minister of Finance Yellen, on 6 April, stated that “any seizure of Taiwan by force is unacceptable” and that “if mainland China moves against Taiwan, the United States is prepared to impose sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia”, and that on 14 April the State Security Adviser, Shali, stated that “there is a clear security partnership between the United States and Taiwan under the `Taiwan Relations Act'”, and that the United States would “take all possible measures” to ensure that China does not “invade” Taiwan. The Biden Government seems to be doing its utmost to send a signal to mainland China that “the use of force against Taiwan is not desirable”. Of even greater concern is the fact that the Biden Government acquiesced in Pompeyo's public support for “Taiwan independence” in a “semi-official” capacity, a phenomenon that did not even occur in the Trump Government, which is the most visible expression of the “Taiwan independence” by the United States since the cold war and which in part reflects the “preventive diplomacy” that Biden's Government is carrying out in an attempt to make the mainland of China “free” by “lighting the bottom card”. Third, “coercion” of China’s cooperation in sanctioning Russia. After the United States and the West imposed sanctions on Russia, Western public opinion triggered a wave of “Chinese blood transfusions to Russia.” While it is clear to the United States that China will not participate in unilateral sanctions against Russia, it is still trying to avoid, through persuasion and pressure, that China will become a credit to Russia for easing the pressure of external sanctions. These successive White House officials are part of the “coercion” strategy of the United States, using the issue of Taiwan, among other things, as the “punishment” of the Chinese mainland to support Russia, as Secretary of State Blinken called it. On the other hand, the “Taiwan independence” road, which has served little in the six years since the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, has taken the opportunity to stage a conflict between Russia and Ukraine in order to achieve three objectives: to create a sense of threat and resistance to the mainland among the island's population, to promote the arms purchase and the “Taiwan independence” process, to bind the United States as a leaner, and to create a so-called “stand-up” camp on a global scale. In addition, Japan, which is a major pillar of the United States in Asia and the Pacific, has made clear its pronouncements and moves to use the crisis as an opportunity to expand its influence, particularly by strengthening cooperation with countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in areas such as cybersecurity, intelligence, ultra-sonic weapons, and the issue of Taiwan has once again become an important feature of Japan's advocacy of the “China threat”. The situation in the Taiwan Strait is a three-pronged source of anxiety. The current situation in the Taiwan Strait faces the most complex international and regional context since the end of the cold war, with at least three challenges. The first is that the authorities took the initiative to “send arms” to the Western American group on the basis of the U.S. crisis and to promote “asymmetric tactics” within the island to accelerate the pace of weapons and equipment, which is undoubtedly a test of the patience of the mainland China.

Note: This is a translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.

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