A ‘Taiwan flashpoint’ in the Indo-Pacific

Synopsis: The historic rival claims of territory and independence by China and Taiwan is seeing a new turn with the US questioning the One China policy. 

Introduction 

Recently the “One China policy” of the People’s Republic of China has been challenged by the USA, though it still stands with a one-China policy. 

In 1979, the USA recognized PRC as the legitimate government in China and thereby ending official relations with Taiwan and also abrogated mutual defence treaty with Taiwan. 

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The USA-China strategic ambiguity with respect to Taiwan

The USA doesn’t support the declaration of independence by Taiwan and sticks to its “one China policy”. However, it has reversed the stand of avoiding official level engagements with Taiwan. 

In March, the US Pacific commander has warned of the possible invasion of Chinese forces in Taiwan within the next 6 years to cut off US power in Asia. 

The USA has declared that it will maintain the ability to come to Taiwan’s defense though not committing itself to do so. 

China on the other hand is committed to pursuing peaceful unification of Taiwan. But China retains the right to use force if there would be a need for the same. China sees reunification as a historic task that must be completed. 

Read moreTaiwan reunification with China ‘inevitable’, says Chinese President Xi Jinping
What can be done?

The recent crystallization of “QUAD” and announcement of “AUKUS (alliance between Australia, UK, US)” is seen as a move to counter China in Indo-pacific. 

The concerned countries and international forums must ensure that the claims be settled by peace following international practices where none of the parties should act unilaterally. 

Read moreIt is time for New Delhi to review its old ‘one China’ policy stance

Source: This post is based on the article “A ‘Taiwan flashpoint’ in the Indo-Pacific” published in “The Hindu” on 11th October 2021. 

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