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President Trump and future of US foreign policy

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] U [/yt_dropcap] pon successfully facing the presidency poll challenge from a senior politician Hillary, now Trump has to face and decide the issues in foreign policy. When Donald Trump became a serious contender for the presidency many eyebrows were raised but when he, against all predictions, trounced the establishment candidate Hillary Clinton, many doubts were raised too about his capabilities to the USA and world.

While some of the doubts could be valid, there is no solid proof to say Trump would fail himself, America and world. As for his foreign policy, Trump is likely to embrace some variant of the policies that have been pursued for the past few decades by the nation’s foreign policy establishment. Trump would choose a few elements as reference and consider his own ideas to change the format of US policy.

President Trump may break sharply with the establishment consensus that the USA as super power must play the lead role in imposing order on the world, many signs indicate that Trump will continue to ensure that the USA plays the dominant role in policing the world.

Trumpophobia

On the eve of presidency poll, Hillary and pro-Hillary media outlets let loose Trumpophobia – fear of Trump- essentially to terrorize the voters and defeat Trump. However, that strategy backfired as people saw through the ugly democratic strategy and Trump was elected to presidency. Now she is trying to cast doubts about the poll itself. . . .

Certainly, many Washington insiders feel differently about Trump whom they consider dangerous. On Election Day, former State Department official Daniel Serwer presented the standard view of the foreign policy establishment that the “dramatic differences” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made Trump a problematic candidate. Trump “prides himself on unpredictability” while Clinton “has a long track record well within the post-9/11 foreign policy consensus,” Serwer explained, adding that Clinton “wants to maintain the stability of the international system and restore American authority.” With his remarks, Serwer indicated that the foreign policy establishment could trust Clinton but not Trump to use American power to actively enforce a system of global order. The New York Times captured the basic establishment concern that Trump would no longer enforce the system of postwar order that his predecessors had maintained throughout the postwar period.

Trump, making the latest stop on a so-called “thank you” tour of states critical to his 8 November election win, introduced his choice for defense secretary, General James Mattis, to a large crowd in Fayetteville, near the Fort Bragg military base, which has deployed soldiers to 90 countries around the world. He vowed a strong rebuilding of the US military, which he suggested had been stretched too thin. Instead of investing in wars, he said, he would spend money to build up America’s aging roads, bridges and airports.

Critics say Donald Trump’s win foreshadowed an America more focused on its own affairs while leaving the world to take care of itself. They issued more serious warnings about Trump presidency 4 long years, saying Trump would reverse decades of foreign policy practice by withdrawing the USA from its deep engagement with the world. The basic establishment concern is that Trump would no longer enforce the system of postwar order that his predecessors had maintained throughout the postwar period. For the first time since before World War II, Americans chose a president who promised to reverse the internationalism practiced by predecessors of both parties and to build walls both physical and metaphorical but that has never happened.

Leftist scholar Noam Chomsky supported Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential primary but Sanders himself was a proxy working for Hillary. Chomsky had a message for voters who refused to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton to prevent Donald Trump from winning the White House: You made a “bad mistake.” Chomsky insists that voters did not have to ignore Clinton’s serious shortcomings in order to recognize Trump as the much more serious threat. “What it means is now the left, had Clinton had won, she had some progressive programs. The left could have been organized, to keeping her feet to the fire. What it will be doing now is trying to protect rights…gains that have been achieved, from being destroyed. The GOP “is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.”

Chomsky is too naive not to recognize the act that now since Sept-11 there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats as both are eager to justify the illegal invasions from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya to Syria and legalize crimes against humanity in Islamic world where millions of Muslims have been slaughtered by US led NATO and Israel..

As he toured the USA in the wake of Donald Trump’s devastating electoral victory last month, senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders used his growing influence within the Democratic Party and among the voting population at-large to outline how the country can prevent slipping backward and in fact can move forward—even with Republicans soon in control of both the White House and Congress.”We can beat this guy. We can beat this agenda, but we have to do it in a way that we have never done it before. We have got to bring people together because we are fighting for the future of this country.”

Indeed, Chomsky further warned in the aftermath of the election: “The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.” Chomsky refuses to admit that Mrs. Clinton now controls the White House and entire system and President Obama is just a puppet. Had she won she would have strengthened Israel to attack Palestine. She would defend the Israeli regime and its crimes against humanity. She would oppose any move for credible peace in the region and support all Zionist schemes with UN veto.

Certainly, many Washington insiders feel differently about Trump. Warnings have been given out by many about the Trump’s uncertain regime without a solid agenda.

Now that Hillary is gone, almost forever, the focus is on Trump’s policy as he has declared to make peace between Israel and Palestine obviously by supporting the establishment of Palestine with his UN veto.

Obama insisted that much of the media commentary about Trump missed the fact that most US officials continue to share the same basic foreign policy goals. Certainly, “there’s enormous continuity beneath the day-to-day news that makes us that indispensable nation when it comes to maintaining order and promoting prosperity around the world,” Obama stated. “That will continue.” Citing the meeting that he held with Trump at the White House after the election, Obama said that Trump expressed a great interest in maintaining “ our core strategic relationships.” Trump, in other words, appeared eager to continue working closely with US allies to enforce a system of global order.

US national interest and core strategic position

Trump’s win took the supporters of “status quo” by shock and foreshadowed an America more focused on its own affairs while leaving the world to take care of itself. The New York Times captured the basic establishment concern that Trump would no longer enforce the system of postwar order that his predecessors had maintained throughout the postwar period.

Certainly, many Washington insiders feel differently about Trump. On Election Day, former State Department official Daniel Serwer presented the standard view of the foreign policy establishment that the “dramatic differences” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made Trump a problematic candidate. Trump “prides himself on unpredictability” while Clinton “has a long track record well within the post-9/11 foreign policy consensus,” Serwer explained, adding that Clinton “wants to maintain the stability of the international system and restore American authority.” With his remarks, Serwer indicated that the foreign policy establishment could trust Clinton but not Trump to use American power to actively enforce a system of global order.

More serious warnings were issued by pro-Clinton sources. For example, on the day after the election, The New York Times, having failed to get Hillary elected, warned that Trump would reverse decades of foreign policy practice by withdrawing the USA from its deep engagement with the world. “For the first time since before World War II, Americans chose a president who promised to reverse the internationalism practiced by predecessors of both parties and to build walls both physical and metaphorical,” the newspaper reported, Trump would weaken US power.

Although the foreign policy establishment of Bush-Obama-Hillary remains concerned with Trump’s unpredictability and perhaps even his neglect of decades of establishment thinking, several high-level officials in the Obama government have recently begun to suggest that the USA will continue to play the lead role in enforcing a system of international order. President Obama himself has made the case that Donald Trump would not be able to simply dictate a new strategy to the vast bureaucracy that manages the nation’s foreign policy.

The foreign policy decision-making process, according to Obama who seeks continuity in full so that the permanent war agenda of Bushdom reign continues, is the result not just of the President, it is the result of countless interactions and arrangements and relationships between Pentagon and other global militaries, and US diplomats and other diplomats, and intelligence officers and development workers. Obama insisted that much of the media commentary about Trump missed the fact that most US officials continue to share the same basic foreign policy goals. Presidents simply cannot change the course according to their individual fancies. Certainly, “there’s enormous continuity beneath the day-to-day news that makes us that indispensable nation when it comes to maintaining order and promoting prosperity around the world,” Obama stated.

Do Obama and Trump share objectives, values?

Obama wants Trump to maintain the existing world order. Citing the meeting that he held with Trump at the White House after the election, Obama said that Trump “expressed a great interest in maintaining “our core strategic relationships.” Trump, in other words, appeared eager to continue working closely with US allies to enforce a system of global order.

Trump and the Obama have always shared many of the same foreign policy objectives, even though Trump made every effort during his campaign to condemn Obama’s policies as dangerous and destructive to both the United States and the world. For starters, both Trump and the Obama have made it clear that they intend to ensure that the USA remains the most dominant military power in the world. In March 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter presented the basic position of the Obama government when he assured the Senate Committee on Armed Services that the Department of Defense “will keep ensuring our dominance in all domains.” The following month, Trump declared his support for the same objective. “Our military dominance must be unquestioned,” Trump stated.

Trump has displayed similar commitments on other fundamental issues. Trump has made it clear that he intends to prioritize the interests of the USA above everything else. Trump announced during his campaign that America First will be the major and overriding theme of his government. Indeed, Trump insisted that he would base his foreign policy on the premise that the USA should only take actions in the world that work to its own advantage. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests, and the shared interests of our allies,” Trump stated.

President Obama has confirmed that his government has adopted an America First strategy. When he recently commented on his decision to commit the US to the Paris Agreement in order to address the threat of global climate change, Obama confirmed that he was primarily motivated by the US interests at stake. Although Obama has not used the same slogan, he has adopted exclusively an America First strategy. Vice President Joe Biden pointed to Obama strategy when he toured Asia in July 2016 as part of “rebalance” to Asia. “It’s overwhelmingly in our interest”. Two months later, State Department official Antony J. Blinken provided more direct confirmation of Obama’s strategy. “We don’t work with other nations as a luxury, or as charity,” Blinken explained. “Our national interest demands our global engagement.”

Currently, “the biggest threat when it comes to climate change and pollution isn’t going to come from us — because we only have 300 million people,” Obama explained. “It’s going to come from China, with over a billion people, and India, with over a billion people.” With his remarks, Obama indicated that the USA needed to join the Paris Agreement to prevent countries such as China and India from harming America with their pollution.

Both Trump and Obama have also made it clear that they intend to completely destroy the Islamic State (ISIS or IS). In November 2015, Trump outlined his position during a radio commercial in which he pledged to “quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.” Secretary of State John Kerry took a similar position. The USA has an interest in “terminating ISIL/Daesh, as fast as possible,” Kerry stated.

In fact, the Obama government has been busy working to fulfill its Syria mission. In the time since it began its air campaign in August 2014, USA and coalition forces have conducted more than 15,000 airstrikes against IS and have killed more than 45,000 ISIS fighters. In the end, the outgoing Obama government will soon hand over power to a Trump government that generally shares some of the very same foreign policy commitments.

Trump team

Trump is now getting ready with his team by appointing his future ministers one by one. Gov. Nikki Haley has been appointed by him as ambassador to the UN. Donald Trump’s critics say he is not a unifier, not a moderating voice, a darling of the Republican mainstream. As governor of South Carolina, she’s been an outspoken opponent of white supremacists, a proponent of immigration, including properly vetted Muslim refugees. And, obviously, a woman, one who sharply criticized him during the presidential campaign. In that light, her nomination as ambassador to the UN marks something new for the coming Trump government.

Some of the president-elect’s previous picks have been beset by claims of racism and bigotry. Governor Haley represents a hairpin turn. Those who have seen Gov. Haley’s improbable rise say the daughter of Indian immigrants is a force to be reckoned with, who has earned considerable respect among black South Carolinians, most of whom are Democrats. It is a kind of symbolic appointment by Trump, to beat back charges of bigotry and misogyny and to be able to make the case that he doesn’t hold grudges against those who stiff-armed him during the primary.

Haley has also triumphed in becoming the first female governor of a state where women have traditionally been marginalized from the political process. “She is an Asian-American woman governor of a state whose constitution was written to weaken the governor’s office just in case a non-white man won the office one day, a state that still has one of the worst records of female legislative leadership in the country. She was the first to breakthrough, has made her mark and ended up being the governor to bring the Confederate flag down.

Trump has decided the persons for many important posts and positions to support his government.

Despite the fact that the foreign policy establishment remains uncertain about Trump’s intentions, the president-elect has provided many signals that he intends for the USA to continue playing an active role in enforcing a system of global order. As Trump has put it, using the standard language of the foreign policy establishment, his government would mainly be “focusing on creating stability in the world.”

Trump’s foreign policy

President Trump is likely to make his own foreign policy while retaining basic structures of it developed for years cutting across the bipolar politics. He would strive to break with the post-9/11 foreign policy consensus of Bush-Obama- Hillary that focused on securing energy and route requirements and considerably reducing Islamic population by murdering millions of Muslims world over with help from countries like Germany led EU, Israel.

Experts the world over express predictions about President Trump’s possible policies, both domestic and foreign. Many argue that he would just continue with Bush-Obama policies. Although the foreign policy establishment remains concerned with Trump’s unpredictability and perhaps even his neglect of decades of establishment thinking, several high-level officials in the Obama administration have recently begun to suggest that the USA will continue to play the lead role in enforcing a system of international order.

Amid all the uncertainty prevailing about what a Trump presidency means for the future role of the USA in the world, one possibility is that Trump will embrace some variant of the policies that have been pursued for the past few decades by the nation’s foreign policy establishment. Although Trump may break sharply with the establishment consensus that the USA must play the lead role in imposing order on the world, many signs indicate that Trump would continue to ensure that American superpower plays the dominant role in policing the world so that it does not appear to be weak.

The standard view of the foreign policy establishment is that the “dramatic differences” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made Trump a problematic candidate. Trump “prides himself on unpredictability” while Clinton “has a long track record well within.

Foreign policy, though made by the president and his foreign ministry, it is the foreign minister who is responsible for applying foreign policy stipulations. Hence foreign minister plays important role in implementing foreign policy. Trump is seriously considering many names for the coveted post. His supporters are split in a big factional fight over this premier Cabinet position.

Who should be Donald Trump’s Secretary of State? It’s the followers of establishmentarian Mitt Romney versus those of loyalist Rudy Giuliani. To the winner goes Foggy Bottom and its prestige. It’s possible the spat will end with a third candidate stealing the prize. But one important part of this struggle may be the manner in which it’s being conducted. Perhaps surprisingly, Trump invited Romney to a meeting last weekend at Trump’s Bedminster, N.J. golf course. The two men seemed to hit it off as the confab lasted longer than expected. Afterward, word leaked that Romney was a secretary of State candidate as well.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway publicized it via Twitter, perhaps as way to undermine former Massachusetts Governor Romney’s chance. Giuliani was the early favorite here. Following the election he reportedly told associates he was set for the Secretary of State post, since he’d told Trump it was the only thing he wanted. He’d been a loud and strong Trump surrogate throughout the campaign’s ups and downs. He deserved a reward, he thought. That hints Trump government internal discussions may play out in public on social media, in real time. Buckle up – the Trump years may be dramatic, and exhausting.

But the announcement wasn’t forthcoming. And as any veteran of the Washington appointment wars knows, to linger is to suffer denigration by a thousand published cuts. The press started chewing on Giuliani’s business ties with the government of Qatar and other foreign entanglements. Obviously, as far as President-elect Trump was concerned the former New York City mayor wasn’t “set” for the job. Specifically, the loyalists within Trump’s political operation who think Romney an apostate have turned up the dial on their disapproval. And they’re waving their hands to get Trump’s attention the best way they know how: in public.

Trump needs an efficient and honest person to deal with the world as foreign minister. Henry Kissinger, a Jew chosen to boost the criminally fanatic Jewish nation in Mideast, whatever his accomplishments as Secretary of State to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, had spent considerable time crossing the globe in shuttle diplomacy, continually spilled internal gossip to journalists.

US presidents have the privilege of maintaining multiple specialists to decide the course on an issue. That’s a quick hook that all the current claimants to the Secretary of State office might be wise to keep in mind. George Shultz, though, was indeed such a Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan. Loyal, phlegmatic, wise in the ways of government, he gave Reagan lots of good advice. Some was ignored – he hated the operation that morphed into the Iran-Contra scandal, for instance. But Shultz was Reagan’s second Secretary of State. The first was Al Haig, a former general who was also a loud, proud international business operator and skilled bureaucratic infighter who thought he knew best about international affairs. He exhausted Reagan’s patience, and when offered Haig’s resignation after only 18 months in office, Reagan accepted it.

However, going by his latest statements, Trump now is seen taking new positions on foreign policy of USA.

Observations

Domestic policy is a settled matter for USA but not its foreign policy, especially when in order to showcase its military prowess as advertisement for orders for its new terror goods from across the globe, it has unnecessarily committed the people a core part of cause of deeply involved in terror wars to perpetrate genocides of Muslims and deduction of their assets.

However, as the superpower it has a role to guide the world by a positive foreign policy. Without a credible policy abroad, incumbent president Obama has not been able to positively and successfully assert its global leadership role due mainly to its prolonged and illogical support for the Israel in Mideast and its misuse of UNSC veto facility to shield the Israeli military crimes against humanity.

Bush-Obama duo promoted not only Israeli regime in Mideast to threaten energy rich Arab nations but also the occupation of the American mind by outsiders, especially Israel and US Jews, and process must end.

President-elect Trump maybe inexperienced and lacks the nuanced knowledge of the complex crises the world is passing through but he as a businessman can comprehend the problems particularly in the areas including the US-NATO led terror wars in Islamic world, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Sunni-Shiite war, and the civil war in Syria.

Reports suggest, Donald Trump has laid out a US military policy that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts to engineer destabilization and regime change. We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” the president-elect said on in Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina. “Instead our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying Isis, and we will.” Trump’s remarks came a few hours after Barack Obama delivered what was billed as the final national security address of his presidency.

President Obama, in spite of efforts, has thus far failed to solve the seven-decade old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mainly because he refused to support the Palestine cause at UN and refused to vote for the establishment and thereby only to indirectly promoted Israel and its crimes by gifting huge pile of terror goods. He is also not serious about credible peace talks. That is the reason why his chief mediator Secretary of State John Kerry failed to end the crisis and Israeli aggression and expansionism because he also does not take into account the psychological dimension of the conflict, the agony and pains of Palestinians under Israeli brutality.

Notwithstanding intensive negotiations in 2009-2010 and 2013-2014, the gulf between the two sides has become even deeper and wider, and Palestinians continue to suffer while Israel gain support of all anti-Islamic nations, getting high precision terror goods from USA and EU.

USA and NATO instigated the conflict between brothers Sunnis and Shiite leading to Sunni-Shiite war and ISIS-Shiite wars. Russia has joined the onslaught of Muslims in Syria. The civil war in Syria will not end unless the US changes its approach to the war by putting both Putin and Assad on notice that the slaughter of Syrian civilians must immediately come to an end.

ISIS, apparently launched by USA to continue with its global permanent war project, has made the plight of global Muslims worse. Defeat of ISIS, however, is not to bring an end to the Sunni-Shiite conflict as long as Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are fighting for regional hegemony. They will continue to wage a proxy war in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen to secure their goal.

ISIS has been invented to divide both Iraq and Syria. But the lack of natural resources (i.e. oil) in the Sunni dominated areas is the bottleneck. Maintaining a united Iraq or Syria has become problematic now. Only a long period of peaceful coexistence between the two sides will allow them over time to develop a closer, more trusting, and friendlier relationship. This would also bring an end to the bloodshed between Sunnis and Shiites and to weaken ISIS. This will greatly satisfy the Saudis as the Sunnis will maintain a strong foothold in Iraq while Iran will still be in a position to exert some influence on the Shiite government.

The USA cannot assert its commanding regional role and at the same time save the Syrian people from near-complete destruction by leading from behind and merely providing military equipment and material to the rebels. USA has put an end to 81 years of the continuous Sunni rule of essentially a Shiite Iraq and is eager to end Shiite rule of Sunni state Syria but Russia supports Iran and also supports Syrian regime. The Iraqi Sunnis now find themselves at the mercy of the Shiite governing majority, which has systematically discriminated against and marginalized them from the first day the Maliki-led Shiite government came to power.

Image of US super power would increase as genuine phenomenon. Only by creating the social, political, and psychological atmosphere conducive to peace, and with the support of the Arab states, the EU, and other major powers, can the negotiations be resumed with a far better prospect of success. Trump said USA has become dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Trump’s entire campaign is built around the idea that foreign influences are infecting the USA. One way of understanding the different directions of Bush-Obama duo is through American exceptionalism. Sanders voters want to make America more like the rest of the world. Trump voters want to keep America a nation apart. Trump wants to build a strong honest America.

Focusing on a process of reconciliation between nations that would mitigate the profound mutual distrust, Trust must try to instill a sense of mutual security, and disabuse the strong constituencies on both sides that they can have it all.

The USA must recognize that Russia has been for decades seeking a strong foot hold in West Asia to replace USA but now USA has given that opportunity in Syria. Russia will be a permanent fixture in Syria backed by Assad and Iran. Iran will not relinquish its longstanding interest and influence in Damascus as Tehran views Syria as the linchpin to the Shiite-dominated crescent of land between the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

There could be chaos in Syria even if the war ends. Apparently, Assad alone can keep intact the bureaucracy, military and internal security apparatus to prevent a replay of what happened in Iraq following the US invasion. By the way, a replay of what happened in Iraq following the US invasion could happen in Syria after the removal of Assad or end of war. Trump must convey in unequivocal terms to Putin and Assad that they must stop the indiscriminate bombing and killing of tens of thousands of innocent Syrians while erasing one neighborhood after another. Given Putin’s desire to work closely with Trump, he is likely to be more receptive in finding a solution to the conflict.

As the super power, USA has the responsibility to bring peace to world. It is quite likely that new president of USA would decide to end terror wars and stop misusing NATO for the Pentagon’s showcasing the prowess of US militarism.

In the end, the outgoing Obama administration will soon hand over power to a Trump administration that shares some of the very same foreign policy commitments. Despite the fact that the foreign policy establishment remains uncertain about Trump’s intentions, the president-elect has provided many signals that he intends for the USA to continue playing an active role in enforcing a system of global order. As Trump has put it, using the standard language of the foreign policy establishment, his government would mainly be focusing on creating stability in the world.

President Trump has got the firmness to persuade either side to make the significant concessions needed to make peace possible. By further pursuing the neutral line of thinking, of Obama, he can make Israel realize that US support for Israeli crimes against humanity is cannot be taken for granted Israel will have to concede the reality that Palestine will come into existence with full sovereignty. Trump can persuade Israel in his talk with Netanyahu in March to make the significant concessions needed to make peace possible by whole heartedly supporting the creation of Palestine state.

Election of Trump sent warning to Israel. Israel has stopped terror attacking the Palestine Gaza strip or kill children there ever since Trump emerged victory. Israel fears Trump. The current relative calm therefore should not be taken for granted as the simmering tension can explode any time when Trump faces problems in USA or if the Palestinians see no prospect of ending the occupation in the foreseeable future. Trump must not hesitate to pressure Israel now to seek a solution and save it from its own destructive path and for Israel’s own future security and political integrity.

Alongside, President Trump should also try a multi pronged approach in solving global problems. Occupation of Palestine and Kashmir by colonialist powers with nukes; war crimes by the Lankan military under Rajapaksha, etc should the focus of his government. Trump should not leave the Palestinians at the mercy of Israel and let it emerge as a genuine nation by ceding all criminal thoughts and plans. A credible peace situation would emerge if Israel accepts to promote the Arab Peace Initiative of 2003.

Trump can easily resolve the fake dispute between India and Pakistan over neighboring Jammu Kashmir which they jointly occupy now, brutally killing Kashmiri Muslims. Kashmir has already lost over 100,000 Muslims by Indian military brutality. Having got selfish agenda, India and Pakistan cannot be trusted to resolve the Kashmir crisis and therefore he must intervene to get peace deal done next year itself.

Establishment of Palestine and Kashmir as sovereign nations will considerably enhance the image of Trump as sensible peace maker and prestige and status of USA as the dependable ally for the cause of peace and prosperity.

Fortunately for Trump and humanity at large the Nobel Peace committee did not honor the president elect Trump with Peace Prize as it has falsely done when Obama was elected as US president as he had just became a usual American politician promoting colonialism, imperialism and capitalism.

Americans taught valuable lessons to Obama through defeating his presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Possibly Trump would be honored new year with a Nobel Peace Prize as the leader who worked sincerely and successfully for the freedom and independence of Palestine and Kashmir, and as a genuine crusader for global peace

Americas

The American Initiative for a “Better World” and its difference with the Chinese Belt and Road

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During their summit held at the end of July 2021 in the city of “Cornwall” in Britain, the leaders of the countries (the Group of Seven major economic leaders “G7” led by Washington) have been announced the launch of an ambitious global initiative called “Rebuilding a Better World”. It is internationally, known as:

Build Back Better World (B3W)

  The “Rebuilding a Better World” initiative aims to (meet the massive financing requirements for infrastructure needs). The most important differences and distinguishes between (the Chinese initiative for the Belt and Road and the American initiative to build a better world), are highlighted, through:

1) The intense Chinese interest in doing (development initiatives that are not politically conditional, unlike the American tool that sets political goals and conditions as a condition for the work of projects or the provision of loans, as well as China’s interest in infrastructure and community projects), and this is the most obvious and famous reason for the “Belt and Road” initiative, whereas the maps showed China’s roads, railways, and pipelines networks extending with partner countries, in addition to cooperation in (the field of digital technologies, educational and social institutions, and security services), which creates a network of relations that will continue in the future, in contrast to the US case or initiative.

  2) We find that while (the leaders of the seven major economic countries neglected to develop long-term strategic plans in their initiative for a better world to serve poor and developing peoples), the vision of the “Belt and Road” has been more clearly manifested through the spread of many other developmental initiatives and the other extensions with it, which include the “Silk Road” for its projects, such as: (The Health Silk Road Initiative to combat “Covid-19”, and the launch of the “Digital Silk” initiative, known as (Information Silk Road).

 3) At a time when Washington and its allies ignored the interests of developing countries, China has contributed to (leading the global development initiatives, especially the Healthy Silk Road to help countries affected by the spread of the pandemic), an initiative mentioned for the first time in the (White Book of Chinese Policy in  2015), Chinese President “Xi Jinping” announced officially the “Health Silk Road” that was presented in a 2016 speech delivered by the Chinese President in Uzbekistan, as well as the new road and the most recent Chinese initiative, known as the “Polar Silk Road”, which also known as the “Ice Silk Road”, which stretches across the “North Pole”, it was first highlighted in 2018.

 4) In the belief of China to lead global development efforts, in contrast to ignoring the “Better World Initiative”, it was represented in China’s leadership in the field of “climate and environmental governance”, so the Chinese government initiated the launch of the “Green Silk Road Fund”, which was established by Chinese investors to promote (Chinese projects that take into account environmental standards), and the latest and most advanced here is the Chinese announcement of the “Space Silk Road”, which is the development of the Chinese “Beidou” system for artificial intelligence technology, and others.

5) Here, we find that at a time when China’s desire to support and modernize all African and poor countries is increasing, the American initiative, which is alleged to be an alternative to the Chinese plan, has come to China’s interest in projects (the Chinese satellite navigation system), and it is scheduled to be used and developed China as an alternative to GPS services.

 6) The American President “Joe Biden” adopted the “Building Better for the World” project, stressing that its mainly focus on the (climate, health, digital sector, and combating social inequality), because the “Belt and Road” initiative – as stated by assistants to US President “Biden” – has transformed from a series of unauthorized projects connected to infrastructure, a cornerstone of Beijing’s foreign policy strategy, and the initiative supported China with raw materials, trade links, and geopolitical influence, so the “White House” wants to engage in projects with greater environmental and labor standards than those funded by China, and with complete transparency regarding financial terms. Perhaps that point raised by Washington towards China comes without (the United States of America presenting concrete evidence of the validity of those accusations to China, as well as Washington’s failure to penetrate deep into the African continent compared to the Chinese side).

 7) American reports accuse Beijing of being (the reason for the decline of its influence on the African continent, and the United States faces many obstacles and challenges to regain its influence again in Latin American countries, which considers China as a trading partner and an important and vital investor in the African and Latin region).  For example, bilateral trade between Brazil – the largest economy in South America, and China increased from $2 billion in 2000 to $100 billion in 2020.  Perhaps this in itself (supports China’s credibility with its development projects to serve African and developing peoples, in contrast to African and Latin rejection, for example, of American influence and penetration in their countries).

8) The most important analytical thing for me is that the relationship of the Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative” with African countries supports “the call of China and Chinese President “Xi Jinping” towards a multilateral and multipolar world”. Therefore, we find that (China’s agreement with these African countries came in their support for multipolarity in the world, which the United States rejects), while African countries and the developing world mainly welcome the “Belt and Road Initiative”, which meets the needs of economic development in their countries, which the alleged American initiative will be unable to meet.

 9) It also represents the Chinese initiative for the Belt and Road (a prelude to the China-Pacific cooperation road to link China and Latin America more closely, through the 21st century Maritime Silk Road from China to Latin America, which the United States strongly opposed, which reduces travel time between them, it works on developing infrastructure and connectivity, and investing in port works and ocean corridors between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Which (made the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean consider cooperation with Beijing a huge investment opportunity and a support for economic and social development plans, as well as an improvement in the region’s competitiveness).

 10) It is worth noting that what distinguishes (the Chinese initiative for the Belt and Road from the American Better World Initiative, is its “sweeping popularity globally”), especially if we know that more than 100 countries have joined the Beijing initiative, which made it stronger politically and diplomatically. China signed cooperation documents on Belt and Road construction with 171 countries and regions around the world, and the trade value between China and countries along the Belt and Road amounted to about 1.35 trillion dollars in 2020, accounting for 29.1 percent of the total value of China’s foreign trade which (the United States of America will be unable to provide in light of the current economic crisis, unlike China). The investment cooperation between them amounted to about $17.7 billion, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce stated that the companies of the “Belt and Road” countries have established 4,294 institutions in China, with an investment value of $8.27 billion.

 11) and even came (confessions by well-known American bodies of China’s developmental role in confronting the United States of America), for example, a report by the “American Council on Foreign Relations” confirmed that: “Since the launch of the “Belt and Road” initiative in 2013, Chinese banks and companies have funded and the construction of power stations, railways, highways, and ports, as well as communications infrastructure, fiber-optic cables and smart cities around the world, and if the initiative continues to implement its plans, China will be able to stimulate global economic growth, and meet the needs of developing countries for the long term”.  This is an American testimony and a clear acknowledgment of the strength of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and its development projects around the world.

12) It remains to be noted here that (the American attempts to put forward alternative development initiatives for the Chinese Belt and Road is a kind of American political competition with China, so the question here is: Why did the United States not provide real development projects over the past long years), so we understand that the Belt Initiative  The road is the largest infrastructure program in the world, and indeed it has become an economic and political challenge for Washington.  Experts believe that the preoccupation of the United States with its financial and economic crises has contributed greatly to giving China the opportunity to extend its economic and development influence among the countries of the world. The “Rebuilding a Better World” initiative comes among other US initiatives to try to confront and confront China, such as the Ocos Defense Security Agreement with Britain and Australia, as well as the first meeting of the “Quad Quartet” with the leaders of India, Japan and Australia. The “Biden administration” is also seeking to hold bilateral talks with countries in order to promote the American initiative, and recently talks were held with Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), especially since India has refused to join the Belt and Road Initiative due to border disputes with China.  Therefore, we understand (the targeting of the United States of America to countries with conflict with China to attract them to its alternative initiative, in contrast to the openness of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative to the whole world).

    Accordingly, we arrive at an important analysis that says that the term “rebuilding better in the American sense” ignores and neglects development initiatives to serve the people, a better world, which is (an American political initiative rather than a development one such as the projects of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative). Here it becomes clear to us that the American initiative for a better world appears to be (influenced by the slogans and policies of both US President “Joe Biden” and British Prime Minister “Boris Johnson”), Rebuilding Better is the slogan of the American campaign, but without setting specific agreed plans or a timetable for everyone.

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Russia and the United States Mapping Out Cooperation in Information Security

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Authors: Elena Zinovieva and Alexander Zinchenko*

The first committee of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly has adopted a draft resolution on international information security sponsored by Russia and the United States by consensus. The document has a record number of co-sponsors, with 107 countries putting their name to the document, although it is Russia and the United States that promote the document as its main sponsors. While the draft resolution still needs to go through a vote at the UN General Assembly this December, we can assume the vote will go more as less the same way it did in the committee.

The very fact that Russia and the United States came up with a joint draft resolution is a significant step forward in the bilateral cooperation in the field of international information security, especially given the fact that the United Nations hosted two competing platforms operating between 2019 and 2021, the Open‑Ended Working Group (the OEWG) established at Russia’s initiative and the Group of Governmental Experts (the GGE) led by the United States.

The joint draft resolution and a step towards an institutionalization of the dialogue came as a result of the agreements reached at the summit between President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Joe Biden of the United States on June 16, 2021. Four rounds of expert consultations have already taken place under the auspices of the security councils of the two countries, says Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States.

Besides, the Russian diplomat pointed to the successes in suppressing hacker activity and combating the criminal use of ICTs. The fight against cybercrime is one the main concerns voiced by the U.S. in this area, especially after the high-profile ransomware attacks on the energy and food industries in 2021. Subsequent dialogue led to a restoration of interaction in this area, which is occurring within the framework of the 1999 bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, a document that allows the parties to exchange information on cybercriminals in pretrial detention, including in matters when it comes to collecting evidence of the person’s guilt. Cooperation between the two countries has involved the United States transferring materials for the legal suppression of the activities of such international cybergroups as Evil Corp, TrickBot and REvil. In turn, Russia has informed the American colleagues that Moscow has managed to thwart the activities of a criminal group using the Dyre/TrickBot malware and prosecute those responsible.

Additionally, there has now been greater interaction between Russian and U.S. centers for responding to computer incidents, the Federal Security Service’s National Computer Incident Response and Coordination Center (the NCIRCC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s US–CERT. However, the sides still harbor their concerns, pointing to the fact that there is room for cooperation to be fostered and enhanced. For example, most attacks on Russian infrastructure in 2020, the NCIRCC suggests, were carried out from the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. By the same token, the Western media continues to level mostly unsubstantiated accusations against Russia for its supposed involvement in cyberattacks, while cyber defence activities have become overly politicized.

Meaningful interaction, once it produces positive results, facilitates an atmosphere of trust between the parties, opening the door for closer cooperation to establish a universal international regime for information security, including with respect to the issues that are more global and complex in their scope. Russia’s agenda in bilateral negotiations is not limited to combating cybercrime—Sergey Ryabkov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has stressed—as it includes a broad range of issues relating to international information security, including military and political use of ICT, which is the major threat to international stability today. Moreover, since 1998, Russia has been calling for a global regulation of international interaction in information security and for rules to be formulated under the auspices of the United Nations to guide responsible behaviour of states in this area.

The dialogue and the joint work in this area have been reflected in the draft resolution, and it takes Russia’s priorities into account. Specifically, the document sets out the important principles and rules of the responsible behaviour of states in the information space, which Russia has been advocating for since 1998: encouraging the use of ICTs for peaceful purposes, preventing conflicts arising in its use, preventing the use of ICTs for terrorist and criminal purposes. The document places a particular emphasis on the importance of preventing cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure.

The draft resolution also welcomes the 2021 report adopted by the Open‑Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, making special note of how important the renewed group’s proceedings will be for 2021–2025. At the same time, the resolution suggests that the OEWG’s activities may well result in a binding UN document on international information security to be adopted.

It would seem the United States and Russia have sent a positive signal to the international community, recognizing the threats to international information security and acknowledging the importance of norms to be devised that would guide responsible behaviour of states in the information space. These norms would underpin the international regime for information security, as is envisioned by the Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on International Information Security adopted by the Russian President on April 12, 2021. The document aims to strengthen peace and international security, which are increasingly dependent on the advances in information and communications technologies. “The international community has proven in practice that it is capable of negotiating and working out acceptable solutions when it comes to resolving fundamental issues of national and international security,” noted Andrey Belousov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

First published in our partner RIAC

*Alexander Zinchenko, Ph.D. in History, Lead Expert at the Centre for International Information Security, Science and Technology Policy at MGIMO University

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How the Republican Party Has Tightened U.S.-Taiwan Ties

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Taiwan, also known as the sovereign Republican of China (ROC), set up in the aftermath of the revolution in 1911 in China. The U.S. government recognized the ROC as the legal government of China till the end of 1978 and has thereafter maintained a non-diplomatic relationship with the island after its official recognition of People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the legal government of China in 1979. Even though the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is deemed as “unofficial” by the U.S. Department of State, official contacts between the two governments based on the Taiwan Relations Act have never ceased, the most important of which includes U.S.-Taiwan arms sales. The “strategic ambiguity” embedded in the three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqués in 1972, 1979 and 1982 allows the U.S. to maintain its involvement in the regional security of Taiwan Strait under a statutory framework despite PRC’s countless opposition.

America’s long-standing commitment to Taiwan and involvement in the region is not only bound by the jurisdiction of the Taiwan Relation Act, but has created “historical and ideological connections”. The support for Taiwan, especially when in the face of an increasingly aggressive China, is usually bipartisan in the U.S., but the Republican party seems to be more provocative when it comes to defending Taiwan from the threat of mainland China. Historically, Republican politicians usually stroke first to take a pro-Taiwan stance when disputes across the Taiwan Strait arose. Meanwhile, the ongoing “asymmetric polarization” in the U.S. – the Republican Party is turning conservative more than the Democratic Party turning liberal – is influencing Washington’s policies involving the Taiwan Strait. In 2020, conservative Republican senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz introduced the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA) and Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty (Taiwan SOS) Act respectively, both of which aimed at defending Taiwan from Chinese Communist Party’s oppression and even invasion. As Republicans are rapidly turning more conservative, is it likely that the U.S.-Taiwan relations will enter a honeymoon phase? And how that would affect U.S.-Taiwan arms sales?

Historical links between U.S. Republican Party and Taiwan

  1. 1949 – 1971: The China Lobby

Throughout the history U.S.-Taiwan relations, there have been multiple times when conservative Republican officials and public figures have worked at the forefront of campaigning for closer U.S.-Taiwan ties, often along with anti-PRC policies.The Republican Party’s intimacy with Taiwan dates back to 1949 when the Chinese Civil War ended. The defeat of Chiang Kai-shek split U.S. policymakers on the issue of whether to defend Taiwan if Communists from China initiated an attack. Democratic Secretary of State Dean Acheson was prone to abandon the island while Republican Senators Robert Taft and William Knowland, together with former Republican President Hoover adamantly demanded that America should protect Taiwan.

In the 1950s, the China Lobby, a broad network of people who shared the common goal of support Chiang Kai-shek’s recovery of mainland China from Mao Zedong-led communism, represented the apex of Taiwan’s success in America. It involved both Nationalist Chinese officials and right-wing American politicians who were mostly Republican politicians, including Senator Barry Goldwater, Jesse Helms, Senator Bob Dole, and Representative Dana Rohrabacher. Although not every supporter of Chiang actually cared about Taiwan issues since many of them simply took advantage of it to advance their own political agendas, the China Lobby, supported by the Republican Party, was capable of arguing for their cause aggressively and intimidating dissidents.

2.2 1971-1991: The Sino-US Normalization – Inner Conflicts among Republicans

Republican President Nixon won bipartisan support for his trip to China in 1972, which marked the end of U.S. efforts to isolate People’s Republic of China. Praises for Nixon’s China initiative came not only from leading congressional Democrats such as Senator Ted Kennedy and Mike Mansfield, but liberal communist James Reston. However, domestic controversy and criticism also arose and mostly came from conservative Republicans who complained that the preliminary rapprochement undermines America’s longtime ally – Taiwan. As the conclusion of Nixon’s visit to China, the “U.S.-PRC Joint Communique (1972)” was issued, which incurred opposition and even wrath of Nixon’s conservative Republican supporters who were upset by the gradual reduction in U.S. forces in Taiwan as implied by the communique.

A decade later, Republican President Ronald Reagan issued the “U.S.-PRC Joint Communique on Arms Sales” – also known as 1982 Communique – which clarified that the U.S. intended to gradually decrease its arms sales to Taiwan, but Reagan’s secret Memorandum on the 1982 Communique specified that the reduction in U.S. sales of arms to Taiwan was “conditioned absolutely upon the continued commitment of China to the peaceful solution of the Taiwan-PRC differences”. As a matter of fact, not only did the Reagan administration have Republicans in Congress reassured through his written clarification that the communique would not disadvantage Taiwan, but he continued to work to assuage potential criticism from the pro-Taiwan Republicans by selling twelve C-130H military transport aircraft to Taiwan in 1984.

2.3 1992-2016: The Gradual Revival of Republican-Taiwan Ties

In 1992, an agreement was reached by PRC and ROC governments in the name of “1992 Consensus” in which the commitment of “one China, respective interpretations” was shared and seen as the foundation of the rapprochement between the two sides of Taiwan Strait ever since. Douglas H. Paal, the Director of American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) between 2002 and 2006, buttressed the 1992 Consensus by emphasizing its critical importance to maintaining cross-strait peace in 2012, days before the presidential election of Taiwan. However, the former Republican Senator Frank H. Murkowski supported Tsai Ing-wen’s challenge to the 1992 Consensus – “Taiwan consensus”, and claimed that Tsai’ proposal “represents the will of the Taiwan people”.

Two years after the proposal of 1992 Consensus, the Clinton administration sought to upgrade the U.S.-Taiwan relations but still restricted high-level Taiwanese government officials’ access to U.S. visas. In the same year, Republicans swept the mid-term elections, which led to a growing movement in the Congress that favored closer relations with Taiwan. In 1995, Newt Gingrich, the Speaker of the House as well as the conservative Republican representative of Georgia stated that president of ROC should not only be able to visit the United States, but ROC itself deserved a seat in the United Nations.

The majority of House Republicans’ support for Clinton Administration’s efforts into bringing China into WTO was surprising, but harsh criticism against China also came from Republican politicians and public figures such as Representative Chris Smith, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, and 1992 Republican presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan, most of whom were allies of conservative forces that held anti-PRC and pro-sentiment.

2.4 2017 – present: Increasingly Conservative Republicans and Closer U.S.-Taiwan Ties

After winning the 2016 U.S. president election, the Republican president-elect Donald Trump had a 10-minute conversation with the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen, an unprecedented move for a soon-to-be U.S. president and Taiwan’s top leader. This led many people to label Trump as a pro-Taiwan president and some even speculate his intention to support the independence of Taiwan.

The conservative Republican president’s policies toward Taiwan were as bold and aggressive as his domestic policies. Even though some may claim Trump’s attitude was “neither new nor Taiwan-specific”, it cannot be denied that his leadership, directly or indirectly, accelerated Republican Party’s right-leaning dash and that came with more pro-Taiwan policies that got under Beijing’ nerve. In 2018, Trump “gladly signed” the Taiwan Travel Act that encourages all levels of U.S. government officials to travel to Taiwan and high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the U.S.. The bill was introduced by the Republican representative Steven Chabot and won bipartisan support before being signed into law by Trump. In 2020, the Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA) to ensure America’s obligations of defending Taiwan from Chinese Communist Party’s invasion. In the same year, the Republican Senator Ted Cruz recognized Taiwan’s National Day and introduced Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty (Taiwan SOS) Act.

The conservative Republican Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also known for his staunch support for Taiwan. During the final days of Trump’s presidency, Pompeo announced that the U.S. was lifting restrictions on U.S.-Taiwan relations by allowing U.S. government contacts with Taiwan despite an increasing risk of invoking Beijing to trigger a new cross-strait crisis. Even in the post-Trump era, Republicans does not seem to put a stop to their pro-Taiwan cause. In April 2021, the Republican Representative John Curtis introduced the “Taiwan International Solidary Act” to condemn China’s overreach of the sovereignty of Taiwan – a year after he authored the “Taipei Act” to strengthen Taiwan’s international diplomatic recognition and had it passed by bipartisan support. The ongoing partisan divide has yet to show a sign of deceleration after Trump left the office. Based on the redder Republican Party’s historical favor toward Taiwan, it is likely that there will be more Republicans initiating anti-PRC and pro-Taiwan policies, including increasing U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Asymmetric Polarization in the U.S.

As early as in the 1990s, themes of polarization, division, and fragmentation started to be discussed by media and political commentators of American politics. The editor of the Columbia Journalism Review declared the conservative politician Patrick Buchanan’s speech at the Republican convention in 1992 a “culture war” and asserted “There is increasing polarization in American society over race, religion, family life, sex education and other social issues”. Similar perceptions include “the sharpening cultural polarization of U.S. society after the mid-1970” and the two dividing values camps in America – the “culturally orthodox” and the “culturally progress”. As shown in Figure 1, Republican legislators have been turning more conservative and Democratic legislators more liberal, which makes the Senate and House more divided than ever since the end of the first World War.

Figure 1: Increasing Polarization in Congress 1870-2010 based on DW-NOMINATE Index

Each point represents the discrepancy between two parties’ mean DW-NOMINATE scores. Higher values along the y-axis indicate stronger political polarization. (source: Moskowitz & Snyder, 2019)

The Republicans and Democrats in the U.S., with their ongoing conflicts commonly acknowledged, are not simply mirror images of each other. A wealth of studies find that the two parties are not moving away from the center at equal speeds. Scholars such as Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson point out that the phenomenon “asymmetric polarization” – Republicans have marched much further right than Democrats have moved left – is what has escalated partisan conflicts, which is also demonstrated by Figure 2. Nolan McCarty, the professor of Politics and Publica Affair of Princeton University, asserts that the polarization is “a Republican-led phenomenon where very conservative Republicans have replaced moderate Republicans and Southern Democrat”. The disproportionate share of rising polarization is thereby greatly explained by Republican party’s march toward the ideological extreme.

Figure 2: Asymmetric Polarization based on DW-NOMINATE Scores

(source: Moskowitz & Snyder, 2019)

Correlations between U.S. Asymmetric Polarization and US-Taiwan Relations and Arms Sales

Compared to 1991 when it had more than 20 countries as suppliers of arms, Taiwan only has the U.S. as its supplier nowadays. America, however, remains Taiwan’s sole and largest supplier of arms by taking advantaging of the strategic ambiguity of the U.S.-PRC Joint Communique of 1982 and the Taiwan Relations Act. More importantly, keeping arms sales to Taiwan can be used as political leverage by the U.S. for the U.S.-RPC relations. The U.S. military sales agreements with Taiwan amounted to $9 billion and delivers totaled $12.3 billion between 1991 and 1998. During the Bush and Obama Administration, U.S.-Taiwan arms sales were oftentimes delayed or cancelled due to concerns over relations with the RPC or U.S. domestic political disputes in Taiwan. However, to counter the cross-Strait military imbalance, the arms sales to Taiwan during the Trump Administration exceeded any previous administrations over the last four decades, including seven packages of arms sales in 2017, C-130 and F-16 fighter parts and accessories in 2018 and 2019. As shown by Figure 3, the overall volume of U.S.-Taiwan arms sales experiences an increase between 1981 and 2010 despite some fluctuations.

 Figure 3: U.S. Government Arms Deliveries to Taiwan 1981 – 2010 ($billion, values not adjusted for inflation)

The scatterplot is composed by the author of this article (source: Arms Control Association, n.d.)

For years, Republicans constantly praise the common value shared by the U.S. and Taiwan and never attempt to hide their stance on defending Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act should China violate the peaceful status quo across the strait. The U.S. support for Taiwan is oftentimes dominated by Republicans who tend to convert their anti-CCP ideology to pro-Taiwan policies. Those prominent Republican politicians include Senator Marco Rubio, Senator John McCain, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Republicans’ pro-Taiwan impression culminated when Donald Trump, the Republican then-President-elect, had a phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, the first official U.S.-Taiwan conversation since 1979. Throughout history, most prominent pro-Taiwan Republican politicians have shown a higher level of conservatism than their colleagues based on DW-NOMINATE ideology scores, including Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator Frank H. Murkowski, and Senator John Curtis, whom of which have made great contributions to tightening the relations between the U.S. and Taiwan. According to those Republicans, Taiwan is a loyal friend of the United States who deserves their strong support which includes the timely sale of defensive arms.

With Republicans’ accelerating right-leaning dashing, the anti-China sentiment has been rising and a large portion of it has been translated into pro-Taiwan actions. The Trump Administration’s hardline reprimand of CCP has starkly juxtaposed Taipei and Beijing in the current international political environment. This has enhanced the image of Taiwan as “a tiny democratic ally threatened by a totalitarian neighbor”, which has given Republicans more legitimacy to take aggressive actions to defend democracy of Taiwan by means of promoting more arms sales to the island.

However, is the asymmetric polarization the only reason behind the increasing U.S.-Taiwan arms sales? Even the polarization of Republicans seems to proceed at a faster pace, Democrats’ process of radicalization is tagging along. The boundary between liberal and left had almost vanished by the end of the 1980s, and the self-identifying radicals started to be replaced by leftists relabeled as “progressive”. The progressive movement of Democrats has been accelerated by “neoliberal globalism” and the “Cyber Left” – an amalgamation of hundreds of thousands of online organizations, blogs, Twitter and Facebook groups. A study of Brookings finds that the ratio of progressive non-incumbent House winners to total democratic candidates was as high as 41% in 2018, a huge increase compared to 26% in 2016 and 17% in 2014. There is a chance that Democrats could also show stronger support for Taiwan to help the island stand up to the presence of increasingly aggressive China, which is also consistent with their emphasis on a harmonious global community and “social responsibility”. It is true that notable Democrats such as Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Ted Kennedy or Speaker Nancy Pelosi do have been open about their appeal for Taiwan’s rightful place on the global stage and have never been shy about celebrating Taiwan’s democracy. Whereas, it is also progressive Democrats’ pro-globalization stance that makes them tend to downplay anti-Communism ideology and thus provide insufficient legislative support for Taiwan. Therefore, military support for Taiwan is still and will be dominated by the conservative Republicans who uphold anti-Communism ideology and value a strong military power to increase security and peace.

Conclusion

The history has proven the Republicans’ overall pro-Taiwan stance from the perspective of ideological similarity, strategic purposes and common values. The increasingly right-leaning Republicans’ support for Taiwan is not only confined to the legislative branch, but has permeated the executive branch. Being regarded as the most pro-Taiwan president in the US history, Donald Trump lifted U.S.-Taiwan arms sales “to the next level” by not only upgrading the quality of arms, but significantly changing the frequency and procedure of sales.

Biden’s ambition to reunite the U.S. is not likely to happen on a short notice given the highly divided American society in terms of income inequality, identity politics, race divergence and so on. The ongoing asymmetric polarization is only going to get worse before it gets better, and that would lead more conservative Republicans, instead of moderate ones, to take power in the foreseeable future. Against the backdrop of deteriorating U.S.-PRC relations, hawkish policies for China will become the mainstream among Republicans. That may not necessarily increase the arms sales to Taiwan under the Biden Administration, but the partisan divide in the current American political environment has made and will make pro-Taiwan policies one of the few agendas that can reach a bipartisan agreement. Therefore, that would neither leave sufficient scope for the Biden administration to adjust its Taiwan policy nor make its China policy too different than his predecessor despites his eager to fix the relations with the second largest economy.

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