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Title: China threatens war as Joe Biden continues the outreach to Taiwan
Source: [None]
URL Source: ... iwan/ar-BB1d6biQ?ocid=msedgntp
Published: Jan 26, 2021
Author: Gordon G. Chang
Post Date: 2021-01-26 12:28:37 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 187
Comments: 9

China threatens war as Joe Biden continues the outreach to Taiwan

Gordon G. Chang, opinion contributor | January 26, 2021

China threatens war as Joe Biden continues the outreach to Taiwan

Over the weekend, China sent large numbers of military aircraft into the southwestern portion of Taiwan's air-defense identification zone, near the strategic Pratas Islands, which guard the southern approach to the Taiwan Strait. Saturday's demonstration of air power was especially provocative, including eight nuclear-capable H6K bombers and fast-moving fighters used in offensive operations. Although the Chinese planes stayed in international airspace, Beijing apparently wanted to deliver hostile messages to Taipei. The Sunday flight was the twentieth Chinese air incursion in less than a month.

Xi Jinping wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: China threatens war as Joe Biden continues the outreach to Taiwan© Getty Images China threatens war as Joe Biden continues the outreach to Taiwan

The air exercises also sent a warning to the Biden administration. It did not take long for the Biden team to push back. The State Department on Saturday issued a statement calling on China to "cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected representatives." It pointedly declared America's "commitment to Taiwan is rock solid."

Perhaps most significantly, the statement mentioned the robust but often ignored Reagan-era "Six Assurances." As John Tkacik, a retired foreign service officer who served in Beijing and Taipei, told me, "The Biden commitment to the 'Six Assurances' is diplomatese for 'the U.S. does not accept China's claims to sovereignty over Taiwan.'"

Washington also responded in a powerfully symbolic way on Saturday. The United States Navy's Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group entered the South China Sea to promote "freedom of the seas." China claims almost the entire body of water as its own - Beijing uses the term "blue national soil" - even though almost every other nation considers it part of the global commons.

China, which has in fact never exercised sovereign functions over Taiwan, claims the island as its 34th province. Taking control of the Republic of China, which is the formal name of Taiwan, is thought to be the highest foreign policy objective of Beijing, which now looks like it is preparing to use force. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first of this year, take sweeping powers from the State Council, which administers the civilian central government, and hand them to the Communist Party's Central Military Commission. Included in the transferred powers is authority to mobilize the country's entire population.

Ominously, Xi Jinping, the aggressive Chinese ruler, this month told his military it has to be ready for war "at any second." China's generals and admirals did not need to be told. They have long been making their "military diplomacy" the diplomacy of the country. As a consequence, China is fast becoming a military state. Therefore, at any second Washington should be prepared to defend the island as Beijing's air provocations signal that China is about to provoke a crisis. Chinese leaders often test new White House occupants with military provocations in their peripheral waters.

For instance, in April 2001, a Chinese jet flew dangerously close to an American Navy EP3, an unarmed reconnaissance plane, causing a fatal collision over the South China Sea. Starting in March 2009, Chinese vessels harassed two unarmed American Navy reconnaissance vessels, the Impeccable and the Victorious, in the South China and Yellow Seas. One of those incidents, the interference with the Impeccable in March, was so serious that it constituted an attack on the United States, in other words, an act of war. In both sets of incidents, Washington's reaction was disappointing, thereby encouraging Beijing to continue its bellicose ways.

Chinese leaders did not test President Trump during his term, perhaps because they were afraid of his unpredictability. Xi looks like he is going after Biden, as it is clear Chinese leaders think, or at least thought, they could bully the new American president. How do we know that? Derisive public comments of Di Dongsheng, the now notorious Renmin University professor, were recorded last November and publicly circulated around China. Essentially, Di bragged that China would be able to determine outcomes in Washington if Trump were not reelected.

Japanese leaders had been worried about Trump's departure. Yasuhide Nakayama, the Japanese defense minister, advised Biden last month that Taiwan should be a "red line" for America. Japanese officials know a thing or two about what militaristic regimes can do, and they now see in China dangerous trends reminiscent of imperial Japan in the 1930s, when uniformed officers took over the government in Tokyo.

Biden's Taiwan policy, however, is shaping up to be resolute. In a move that surprised observers, his transition team invited Taiwan's top representative in Washington, Bikhim Hsiao, to the inauguration. Her presence ended four decades of America's shunning of Taiwan at the ceremony. The move continued the Trump administration's outreach to Taipei. With Washington's new engagement of Taiwan, it appears China no longer wields a veto over American policy toward the island.

Beijing, with its shows of air power, has now made its displeasure known. At the moment, most every observer thinks Xi is just huffing and puffing over Taiwan, yet regimes that say they want war almost always get themselves into one.

Poster Comment:

Xi is stirring the pot to test the new Biden administration.

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#1. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

Biden and his crackhead son got this under control.

Lol let the Chinese go to war with us.

TommyTheMadArtist  posted on  2021-01-26   12:48:06 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

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#8. To: TommyTheMadArtist (#1)

let the Chinese go to war with us.

Do you recall the episode of Star Trek where the Enterprise crew comes upon a parallel civilization to that of Earth, where a member of the crew says, "They fought the war that we didn't."? ;)

BTP Holdings  posted on  2021-01-27 08:38:34 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

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