South China Sea Warning As US Policy “Under Attack” Amid Joe Biden Arms Sale to Taiwan | World | New
Mr Biden, who will mark his 200th day in office this weekend, notified Congress of a $ 750 million (£ 538 million) arms sale to Taiwan – the first arms deal with the country of East Asia approved by his administration. This latest arms shipment to Taiwan would include 40 M109 self-propelled howitzers and 1,700 kits to equip missiles with GPS systems. Beijing vehemently opposes the plan to sell arms to Taiwan, and China’s Foreign Ministry has said it has made “solemn representations” to Washington on the issue.
The ruling Communist Party of China sees Taiwan, an autonomous island nation, as a province and an “inalienable part of China” that will one day be reunited with the mainland.
For diplomatic reasons, the United States has recognized for decades that there is only one Chinese government under its one-China policy, deciding not to officially recognize Taiwan’s rulers.
However, Washington has unofficial ties to Taipei and has provided it with arms for decades under the Taiwan Relations Act, which enjoys bipartisan support in Congress.
But according to Dr Jonathan Sullivan, China scholar and political scientist at the University of Nottingham, “America’s longstanding policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ is increasingly challenged by lawmakers demanding a tougher stance. against Beijing.
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He said the policy was “under attack from within the United States, in a bipartisan fashion, especially from Congress, which views the People’s Republic of China as a threat and wants ‘strategic clarity’ on Taiwan.”
He added, “They want the United States to make an explicit commitment to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression.
“This call started as a right-wing fringe position, but is increasingly seen as not being crazy. Such a change would likely precipitate major problems, as Beijing would interpret it as US support for Taiwan independence. “
Despite this, the United States has always maintained some form of ambiguity in its approach to Taiwan because, according to Dr Sullivan, it is “limited in what it can do.”
He said: “Concretely, the United States is ready and able to come to the aid of Taiwan. Whether this could do it quickly enough to prevent a fait accompli is the subject of much debate among those who study frigates and missiles.
Dr Sullivan explained that by not disclosing in “explicit terms” whether or not the United States would defend Taiwan, Washington was able to “narrow down” both Beijing’s and Taipei’s actions.
He said, “At the end of the spectrum, it prevented China from invading or Taiwan from declaring independence.
“Mid-spectrum, he urged both sides to maintain the status quo and mostly enjoy productive economic relations, despite rhetoric and the current freeze on government communications.
“The policy of the United States, anchored in the Taiwan Relations Act and its one-China policy [distinct from Beijing’s one China principle], has been in place for 40 years and has shown its usefulness.