What is behind the US-China tension over Taiwan? What are the motives behind this tension? Why did the US provoke China by the visit of the Speaker of the House of Representative and other members of Congress to Taiwan? What is the importance of the island to both China and America? Are matters moving towards war or towards calm?
In order to clarify the reality of this growing tension over Taiwan, its motives, and the provocations, it is necessary to recall some relevant facts:
First: America considers China its number one competitor internationally. The Chinese economy is very large and is growing faster than the growth of the American economy. America is threatened by China becoming the No. 1 economy in the world in a few years. This economic power in China is turning into a military power; China’s military spending is increasing year after year, with which the traditional and nuclear capabilities of the Chinese army develop, and with it, China’s political ambitions develop, including the Silk Road project, which gives China political and economic influence in a number of countries, especially in Asia. All this does not appeal to America, which declared a trade war against China, and started building military alliances in Asia to oppose it and prevent its rise.
Second: As for Taiwan, it is a large island with an area of 36,000 square kilometers and is inhabited by 24 million people. It has an advanced economy that makes it the 26th most economic “state” in the world and is known for its electronic chip industry. Thus, it is a full-fledged country according to the standards of countries today. However, its history and the fact that its residents are Chinese, and because it is only 140 km away from the Chinese mainland, makes China consider it a rebellious region. Its political history makes its relations with China a hot topic, because after the Communist Party took control of the reins of power in mainland China in 1949, the defeated rulers of China (The Chinese National Party- Kuomintang) had moved to Taiwan and was affiliated to their rule at that time. Two million Chinese from the opponents of the Communist Party emigrated with it and established the capital Taipei, and thus the former rulers of China (before the Communists took control of the rule) had kept the island of Taiwan under their rule and were helped in that by the umbrella of the American military extended to them. America signed a joint defense agreement with Taiwan in 1955 as the “Republic of China” because America did not recognize the Republic of China at the time, which is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. America has repeatedly intervened to defend Taiwan and gave it a permanent seat for China in the UN Security Council.
Third: However, America, after its understandings with Beijing, has agreed to transfer China’s seat in the United Nations to Beijing, i.e., to the Chinese Communist Party, and expelled Taiwan from the United Nations, and since then announced that it supports the One-China policy, meaning that it does not recognize Taiwan’s independence, but has kept its defense agreement intact to prevent China from annexing it. All this has made America an active element in the Taiwan issue for more than seventy years. Today it treats it as an independent state without officially recognizing its independence, and it establishes political, commercial, economic and military relations with it, in addition to the protection of American fleets for it, and it has an office that performs the work of the actual embassy in Taipei, though not officially named the embassy.
Fourth: This was during the history of Taiwan’s birth as a political entity separate from the Chinese entity. Today, China’s power has greatly increased, and it has become a prominent country on the international scene, and it has gained significant influence in Asia, especially economic influence, but its inability to resolve the issue of Taiwan, as a rebellious region, represents a major weakness for it, and if China in the past and still does not fear Taiwan’s military power and certainly trusts its ability to reinstate the island to its embrace by force, it was and still fears war with America because of Taiwan. This is evident in the current crisis in which America shows firmness against China, because China internationally is satisfied by the world’s countries’ non-recognition of Taiwan’s independence, that well-known and agreed-upon policy with America entitled “One China”. All this despite the fact that those countries, led by America, treat Taiwan as an independent country. In general, China did not give rise to major crises around Taiwan that would impede China’s trade relations with the world.
Fifth: America has taken Taiwan as an arena to provoke and insult China and show its weakness if it accepts the American provocation, and if China rejects that American provocation and starts to defend itself, then Taiwan becomes a complete quagmire in which China gets implicated by. Meaning, placing China between two options, the best of which is bitter, and this is what is taking place today on the Taiwan crisis. Without any valid reason, America announced the intention of US Congresswoman, speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan, and the expected date was 3/8/2022. China became angry and warned America that it would pay the price if Pelosi visited Taiwan: (Beijing warned, that the planes that violate the flight ban in Taiwan’s airspace may be shot down.” (Al-Shorouk Newspaper website, 2/8/2022)), but America escalated its provocation, so Pelosi carried out the visit on board a US military plane and was escorted by 13 other military planes that took off from its military base in Japan, defying the threat responses from China.
Sixth: China announced the start of massive military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait, including missile launches, and demanded America to abide by the One-China policy, agreed upon between the two sides since 1971. The page of Pelosi’s visit would almost have been turned had it not been for the American intentions for more provocation. The provocation that appeared by a later visit by another US Congress delegation to show America’s determination to defy China, (a delegation from the US Congress arrived in Taiwan, Sunday, August 14th), according to what was announced by an institute that serves as Washington’s embassy in Taipei, days after China conducted military exercises in the vicinity of the island in response to the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (The Independent Arabia, 14/8/2022)). China responded by launching new military maneuvers in the strait and America announced that its navy and air force had carried out transit operations in the Taiwan Strait to confirm freedom of navigation in it. Taiwan began to show some canines and also conducted military maneuvers simulating repelling a Chinese attack on them. Thus, the Taiwan crisis erupted between America and China, and it can be summarized as follows:
1- China is angry and is preparing itself for the possibility of war. (The Chinese Ministry of Defense said, in a separate statement said that the visit of the US representatives is a violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and “fully reveals the true face of the United States as a spoiler of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” She added that, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference.” (The Independent Arabia,16/8/2022)).
2- As for America, it continues to provoke, mobilize alliances and almost hot incitement against China, (Vice-Admiral of the US Seventh Fleet, Karl Thomas stressed on Tuesday, August 16th, during a meeting in Singapore, that China’s decision to launch missiles over Taiwan must be contested as “irresponsible,” (The Independent Arabia, 16/8/2022)) and he incited Asian countries against China, saying according to the same source: (“If you don’t challenge it, the problem is that it’ll become the norm … People just accept it. And then all of a sudden, people can make claims like the entire South China Sea is their territorial sea”). Before that, the US President had clearly answered that America would fight alongside Taiwan if China invaded (US President Joe Biden warned that China was “playing with fire” in the Taiwan issue, and pledged to intervene militarily to protect the island if it was attacked…, Asked directly whether the United States would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded it, when it did not in Ukraine, Biden replied: “Yes…it is a commitment we made.” (BBC, 23/5/2022). With this high degree of American provocation to China in Taiwan and China’s showing of its military power around Taiwan, and the accompanying threats and America’s bringing its battleships and planes into the same strait, and the challenges to China at its doorstep, this crisis is considered very dangerous because America is the one that pushes it for more aggravation. It has been mobilizing its armies for years in Asia for the possibility of a military confrontation with China, so America hastened its steps to build new military alliances against China, such as the Aukus alliance with Australia and Britain, and strengthen the existing ones, such as the Quad nations alliance with Japan, India and Australia, that is, America is experimenting with the military threat alongside the economic threat, as the first is more effective than the second.
3- It seems that China has become aware that these plans are related to America’s major policy to contain China and not the issue of Taiwan, so you see it showing its military ability. A statement issued by the Eastern Command of the Chinese Army stated that (“The People’s Liberation Army of China organized on August 15th a patrol to prepare for multi-force armed battles, and combat maneuvers in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.” (The Independent Arabia, 14/8/2022). Also, (the Chinese military said today that it conducted maneuvers near Taiwan to form what it described as a serious deterrent to Washington and Taipei, “which continue to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability” across the Taiwan Strait. The eastern command of the Chinese army said the People’s Liberation Army had organized live-fire combat exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan. In the same context, the Chinese Ministry of Defense said its forces continue to train, prepare for war and firmly defend national sovereignty, and crushing any form of Taiwan independence and foreign interference attempts. The ministry warned the United States and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei that using Taiwan to contain China is doomed to failure. (Al-Jazeera Net, 15/8/2022). Also, on 17/8/2022, China sent some of its forces to Russia to carry out joint exercises with the Russian army, as if it was threatening America and implying to it that Russia was siding with China in the Taiwan crisis.
Seventh: These are the dimensions of the Taiwan crisis that America is creating and through which it wants to subjugate China. It is worth noting four related issues:
1- While America has become afraid of economic wars with China because of the strength of the Chinese economy, the great difference in military power between America and China makes the former not afraid of military confrontation with China, so this American aggravation of the Taiwan issue must be seen as the clearest and most severe American policies to move the field of conflict with China from the economy to the field of military power in which America is almost decisively superior to China. And perhaps Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine negates any possibility of Russian military support to China in the event of a war over Taiwan, a war that is far from any nuclear possibilities.
2- If America succeeds in implicating China in a war in Taiwan, and then, along with its allies, imposes economic sanctions on it, similar to those imposed on Russia, then the greatness of China represented in the economy will be under a very great threat that may achieve America’s aspirations to contain Chinese power. These expected sanctions against China, in the event that it rushed to invade Taiwan, appears to America to have a great influence and will be very painful on the class of the richest people in China, who are senior members of the ruling Communist Party. And this influential class, if its interests are damaged to such a deep degree, will work as the fifth column from within the Chinese Communist Party towards harmony with America!
3- With all that is mentioned, it is clear that the escalation over Taiwan originates from America and is moving in an upward direction. It is also clear that America’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine does not prevent it from increasing escalation with China. To further demonstrate this, America responded to Poland when it offered to supply Ukraine with Soviet-made MiGs, Poland demanded at the time that this be in return for America’s supplying Poland with F-16s. America said that American aircraft factories were working to supply Taiwan with combat aircraft, meaning that the war in Ukraine did not blind America to China. This is the current Taiwan crisis and that was its motive.
4- As for if this crisis leads to war or truce, it is most likely intended to preoccupy China with a crisis at its doorstep, which prevents it from supporting Russia in its war on Ukraine, and thus America creates a crisis for Russia in Ukraine and a crisis for China in Taiwan, and the coast will be clear for America in weakening both sides, that is if Russia and China do not realize how dangerous the quagmire is that America has prepared for them in heating up the crises in Ukraine and Taiwan! We say this is more likely because the possibility of war, or at least military skirmishes, is a possibility, because any uncalculated mistake in this case from the convergence of armies and the escalation of provocations makes this a possibility.
Eighth: The conclusion is that this world is dominated these days by (major) countries that do not value justice and good, but rather are enveloped by injustice and evil from the top of their head to the soles of their feet. These are countries that if their interests require the destruction of the land and people, they will do it, and if their desires require bloodshed, corruption and corrupting it will shed it. It is as if the ancient reality had returned with its Persia and Rome the “great states” at the time, and just as they were removed by the hands of the believers, so will the major states disappear today by the hands of the believers, and the Khilafah Rashidah (Rightly-guided Caliphate) will shine on the method of Prophethood again, Allah willing, and spread good throughout the world.
[وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هُوَ قُلْ عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ قَرِيباً]
“Then they will say, “When is that?” Say, “Perhaps it will be soon” [Al-Isra: 51]
25 Muharram 1444 AH – 23/8/2022 CE