The Chinese awakening was one of the central events in the history of the 20th century history. In the penultimate decade of the 19th century, Western capitalism penetrated China: cheap industrial products damaged local crafts and industries. Social decadence and increasing poverty were worsened by famine and floods in the largely populated rural areas. In the expanding port cities, a revolutionary proletariat and intelligencija were formed. The work of translators such as Yan Fu (1854-1921) brought Chinese intellectuals into contact with modern and contemporary Western thought.
Statesmen such as Kang Youwei (1858-1927) and Liang Qichao (1873-1929) influenced Emperor Guangxu (emperor from 1875 to 1908). His reforms were countered by a reactionary coup d’état on September 21, 1898 by Empress Dowager Cixi (regent from 1861 to-1908), the Emperor’s aunt, which ended the Hundred Days’ Reform. The emperor was put under house arrest; the reformers were executed and the xenophobic Boxer movement was encouraged.
Foreign pressure and domestic political powerlessness led in 1905 to the abolition of the old system based on State examinations for admission to the Civil Service and to the renewal and modernisation of defence led by Gen. Yuan Shikai (1859-1916). Western powers, including Italy, intervened in Chinese internal affairs.
On August 20, 1905, doctor Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen, 1866-1925) founded – in Tokyo – the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance (Tongmenghui), a movement that in its programme envisaged the three principles of the people: unity of the people (nationalism); rights of the people (democracy); welfare of the people (socialism). It was spread by the Overseas Chinese, by students and missionary schools, and extended throughout the motherland. On October 10, 1911, the right set of conditions turned a revolt in Wuchang into the Chinese Revolution. To make up for the losses, the Qing court responded positively to a series of demands to turn the authoritarian imperial rule into a constitutional monarchy. Yuan Shikai was appointed as the new Prime Minister, but before he was able to regain the areas conquered by the revolutionaries, the provinces began to declare their allegiance to the ARC. At the time of the uprising Sun Zhongshan was in the United States on a fundraising trip. He went first to London and then to Paris to ensure that neither country gave financial or military support to the government of the Manchurian Qing dynasty (1644-1912). Sun Zhongshan returned to China shortly afterwards. Meanwhile the revolutionaries had conquered Nanking, the former capital of the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Delegates from seventeen provinces arrived for the first National Assembly, which elected Sun Zhongshan as provisional President on November 29, 1911. On January 1, 1912, he proclaimed the Republic of China. Heaven had withdrawn the mandate from the Qing.
The international reaction to the revolution was cautious. During the uprising the countries with investment in China remained neutral, although anxious to protect the rights of the unfair treaties achieved with the Qing through the First and Second Opium Wars. The United States, however, was largely supportive of the republican project, and in 1913, Washington was among the first capitals to establish full diplomatic relations with the new Republic. The United Kingdom, the Japanese and the Russian Empires, etc. followed suit.
Sun telegraphed Yuan Shikai, promising that if he accepted the establishment of the Republic, he would be appointed as President. This was done to win the support of the military for the cause of national unity. Yuan Shikai accepted, thus forcing the court to give him the authority to form a republican government. On February 12, 1912 he acknowledged the abdication of the six-year old emperor Pu Yi (later emperor of the pro-Japanese puppet State of Manchukuo from 1934 to 1945). We will see later why Yuan needed the so-called “continuous permission”.
Meanwhile Outer Mongolia (the present State) had declared its independence (July 1911) – and Tibet, as well (1912) – recognised through the iniquitous Simla Convention (July 3, 1914). Although the new government created the Republic, it did not unify the country under its control. The withdrawal of the Qing led to a power vacuum in some regions. On August 25, 1912 Sun Zhongshan and Song Jiaoren (born in 1882) founded the Guomindang (GMD), the Chinese Nationalist Party derived from the ARC. In the December 1912-January 1913 elections (in which 5% of the Chinese population voted) the GMD won 45.06% of the seats in the National Assembly.
Yuan Shikai probably had Song Jiaoren assassinated on March 22, 1913. Later, relying on 223 AN members out of 870 (who had created the Progressive Party, Jinbudang), he dismissed the GMD provincial governors or forced them to swear allegiance. This was followed by the Second Revolution (July-September 1913), which was suppressed by the government.
On November 20, 1915, the end of the Republic of China and the return of the Empire was declared. On December 12, 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself emperor with the name Hongxian. As early as December 25, 1915, public disapproval and people’s aversion to the monarchy were expressed. Japan withdrew its support for the Yuan prince. Some provinces, under the leadership of the Governor of Yunnan, Cai E (1882-1916), rebelled against the new emperor, who renounced the swearing-in ceremony and relinquished his title on March 22, 1916. He died on June 6, 1916.
China entered World War I on August 14, 1917, declaring war on Germany, and immediately occupied Qingdao, the largest German naval base abroad, located on the Shandong Peninsula. Yuan Shikai’s death worsened the Chinese crisis, continuing the process of territorial fragmentation. The issue of provincial governors being military and directly controlling their own armies laid the foundations for the period of warlords. Such “feudal lords” often administered their territories without recognising the incumbent government. The numerous generals in the Northern army tried to bring the Beijing government under their aegis. On the other hand, the interference of the States – which had the government finances in their own hands, directly collecting customs duties and gradually granting them to the recognised “legitimate” government after deducting allowances and interest – worsened the bloody internal conflicts. Each power wished to impose its authority on China to the detriment of other foreigners, and for that reason supported one or another of the different warlords.
When the Versailles Conference (January 18, 1919 – January 21, 1920) assigned the German bases in Shandong to Japan, with the backing of the Beijing government, intellectual, literary and political currents called a series of protests throughout the country on May 4, 1919, in which the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as blue collar workers, participated. The organisers referred to the New Culture Movement, which had originated in 1915 and developed at the Peking University, where the importance of science and democracy was extolled, thus rejecting China’s traditional culture. According to Chinese historiography, the May Fourth Movement marked the beginning of contemporary history. Events followed one another swiftly. Sun Zhongshan established the military government in Guangzhou (Canton, 1921-25). After his death, the national government later moved to Wuhan (1925-27), under the leadership of the rising star Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek, 1887-1975).
The Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded on July 1, 1921. In 1924 the good relations between the Soviet Union and the GMD led the CPC to create a united front with the GMD. In 1926 Jiang Jieshi launched a successful expedition against the Northern warlords. In 1927 he moved his government to Nanking, broke the alliance with the CPC, and bloodily suppressed the Communists with the Shanghai massacre and the Guangzhou peasant revolts. In 1928 he reunified most of the country. Jiang Jieshi centralised the five powers (the executive, legislative, judiciary, investigation and control ones) into a State Council under his leadership. On August 1, 1927, the CPC founded the Red Army as a form of defence against the GMD attacks.
In 1931 there was the period of the so-called “formative government”: with the Anglo-US support, foreign concessions were regained; extraterritoriality privileges were abolished and domestic duties were eliminated; foreign concessions in Shanghai and foreign control of port duties remained. The government turned into a military dictatorship.
On September 19, 1931 Japan attacked Manchuria. On November 7 of the same year the CPC established the Chinese Soviet Republic in Jiangxi, with Mao Zedong (1893-1976) as Prime Minister. In December 1930 civil war had actually begun. Five annihilations campaigns against the Communists under Jiang Jieshi ended in October 1933 with the Reds being crushed. From October 1934 until the same month of the following year, the Reds launched the legendary Long March of Ten Thousand Li (Changzheng) to move from the then indefensible Jiangxi to Shaanxi. Twelve thousand impervious kilometres covered by the Red Army (later the People’s Liberation Army). One hundred thousand left as against 400,000 and only 20,000 reached their destination.
In 1936 Jiang Jieshi reached the height of his power, controlling 11 of China’s 18 provinces. But on July 7 the Japanese attacked China. In 1937 there was a new agreement between communists and nationalists to combat Japan, the Rising Sun. The GMD government moved from Nanking to Chongqing. Later, once it had fallen into the Japanese’s hands, the collaborationist government of Wang Jingwei (1883-1944), a former GMD member, came to life there. In 1941, Jiang Jieshi – being sure of Japan’s defeat due the entry of his US allies into the war – once again broke the agreement with the communists. In China there were three wars at the same time: the GMD against the CPC, and both separately against the occupiers and the puppet government. Japan surrendered and capitulated on September 9, 1945.
After the end of the Japanese occupation, the Chinese economy was in a very bad state. With the US support, the GMD troops occupied the large cities, but were unable to maintain order. On August 14, 1945 a treaty of friendship and alliance was signed with the Soviet Union, which retained, inter alia, Lushunko (Port Arthur, which was under Soviet-Japanese administration until 1953 and later returned to the People’s Republic of China). Negotiations between nationalists and communists for a coalition government failed. There was renewed fighting between the two factions.
In 1947 the civil war escalated. With the US help, the nationalists held power in vast territories, but the communist troops achieved new successes.
On the eve of May 1, 1948, the CPC’s Central Committee issued an appeal to convene a new conference after the failure of the previous one. Indeed, on October 10, 1945 – in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat – Mao Zedong and Jiang Jieshi had met and agreed on the country’s reconstruction and on convening a consultative political conference. It opened on January 10, 1946 and saw the participation of seven CPC delegates, nine from the GMD, nine from the Democratic League, five from the Youth Party and nine independents.
After reaching the agreement of February 25, 1946 the Conference stalled in July when Jiang Jieshi launched a large-scale offensive against the communist territories with 218 brigades: the real start of further civil war. In December 1947, however, Mao announced that 640,000 nationalist soldiers had been killed or wounded and over a million had laid down their arms.
The appeal of April 30, 1948 was appreciated and immediately echoed by democratic parties, people’s organisations, non-movement personalities and Oveseas Chinese.
On May 5, there were greetings from leaders of various democratic parties including Li Jishen (1885-1959) and He Xiangning (1879-1972) of the GMD Revolutionary Committee – a movement distinct from the GMD as such (the former was its President). Then Shen Junru (1875-1963) and Zhang Bojun (1895-1969) of the Democratic League leadership; Ma Xulun (1885-1970) and Wang Shaoao (1888-1970) of the Chinese Association for the Promotion of Democracy; Chen Qiyou (1892-1970) of the Justice Party; Peng Zemin (1877-1956) of the Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party; Li Zhangda (1890-1953) of the National Salvation Association; Cai Tingkai (1892-1968) of the GMD Democracy Promotion Committee, and Tan Pingshan (1886-1956) of the Sanminzhuyi Comrades’ Federation (the Three Principles of the People).
Also Guo Moruo (1892-1978), a person with no party affiliation, sent a joint telegram from Xianggang (Hong Kong) to the CPC’s Central Committee, Mao Zedong and the entire nation supporting the communists’ call.
Meanwhile, the Association for the Promotion of Democracy and the Jiu San Society (September 3), which had established their headquarters in areas under the GMD rule, held secret meetings of their central committees to welcome the CPC document.
Mao Dun (1896-1981), Hu Yuzhi (1896-1986), Liu Yazi (1887-1958), Zhu Yunshan (1887-1981) and 120 democrats issued a joint communiqué expressing their agreement with the CPC position. In addition, 55 leaders of the democratic parties and people from outside the party issued joint comments on China’s political situation, stating:
“[…] during the People’s Liberation War, we are willing to contribute and cooperate in designing programs under the CPC’s leadership, expecting to promote the quick success of the Chinese People’s Democratic Revolution for the forthcoming foundation of an independent, free, peaceful and happy New China.”
The Conference held its first plenary session in Beijing from 21 to 30 September 1949. A total of 622 representatives attended. They were sent by the CPC, by democratic parties, independent personalities; mass and regional organisations, the People’s Liberation Army, ethnic minorities, Overseas Chinese, patriotic democrats and religious groups.
The first session exercised the functions of a fully-fledged parliamentary, legislative and constitutional Assembly of the nascent State until 1954, when the first National People’s Congress was elected. The CPC Central Committee adopted the Provisional Constitution (the CPCCC Common Programme), the CPCCC Organic Law and the Organic Law of the Central People’s Government. It chose Beijing as the capital of the country. It established the five-star red flag (Wu Xing Hong Qi) as the national flag: red stood for the revolution; the big star stood for the CPC; the other stars stood for the social classes: workers, peasants, lower middle class and capitalists (national middle class). It adopted the March of the Volunteers (Yiyongjun Jinxingqu) as the national anthem and opted for the Gregorian calendar. The session elected the CPCCC National Committee and the State Central People’s Government Council. On October 1 – through Mao, the NC Chairman – it proclaimed the People’s Republic of China.
The GMD government and army fled to Taiwan. Jiang Jieshi was defeated precisely because he was unable to offer his country a future of independence from the imperialist powers to which he was linked, starting with the United States.
When Heaven withdrew the mandate also from the bourgeois Republic, it was a cyclical change in universal history, comparable only to 1789 and 1917. The manoeuvres of the People’s Republic’s enemies later excluded eight hundred and forty-one million Chinese from the United Nations until 1971.
What China Does Not Know about India
Indian authorities said on April 30 that they discovered Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Group had made illegal remittances to foreign entities by passing them off as royalty payments. As a result, they seized USD 725 million from Xiaomi’s local bank account in India. I deemed that the Chinese smartphone company has a misunderstanding of India and how the Indians do business.
China still does not comprehend India. While the Chinese often consider their own country as an ancient and great civilization, Indians consider India as an even more ancient and greater civilization.
India established diplomatic relations with China in the second year of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Following this, New Delhi issued a statement supporting China’s entry as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council. Many Chinese, therefore, often perceive that China-India relations were rather good at that time. If not completely incorrect, this is at least a subjective misunderstanding of India on China’s part.
In reality, India prided itself as a great country in the world, vis-à-vis with Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. By recognizing China, India showed the two great powers that it has the authority to self-determination.
For a long time, China has created an impression within the country that it is the founder of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Back in 1955, Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru had already issued a call for the creation of the movement to the world, which gained support from many developing countries, including China. The rest of the world, including India, sees China as merely a responder to NAM. The world, not least India, perceive China to be a mere member of the NAM, not a founder. As the initiator of NAM, Prime Minister Nehru naturally became its spokesperson and leader of the organization. He was especially responsible for delivering speeches in many developing countries on international affairs.
From the points of India’s view, the well-known Bandung Conference held in Indonesia in 1955 has its origin as India’s idea as early as 1947. It was only because of India’s help that China was allowed to attend the NAM conference, which introduced the People’s Republic to the world. These perceptions of India are indeed, largely true. The relationship between India and China at that time was far closer than that between Pakistan and China today.
On the international front, India would even be chosen as a mediator in the disputes between the United States and the Soviet Union. President Dwight Eisenhower also complimented India at the Indian Parliament, saying, “India speaks to the other nations of the world with the greatness of conviction and is heard with greatness of respect”. It is rare for any U.S. President to heap this kind of praise on a country. Much later, President Donald Trump also inherited this momentum and arranged for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to jointly hold a session in the United States, where they were well-received by both Indians and Americans alike. This certainly added to India’s national pride.
The Soviet Union at that time also recognized India’s status in the world, and it actively wooed India. Being able to make friends with India was synonymous with having several NAM countries as partners, which was anything but trivial. Indeed, from the past to the present, from India-Soviet friendship to today’s India-Russia relations, the two countries’ friendly relationship has a history of more than 70 years, and it has not changed despite numerous trials. The Chinese would make a blunder if they believe that such relationships could be challenged solely through the use of money.
“India was, I guess, the most positive example of USSR’s connections with non-socialist states,” states Sergei Lounev, professor of Oriental Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The professor was certainly not exaggerating. As early as 1971, the Soviet Union and India signed a Friendship Treaty, pledging to act against any military alliance or aggression directed against either of the two nations. For the Soviet Union, it was the first such treaty signed with a country that did not formally embrace socialism.
All of this is history. However, the Chinese appear to understand India poorly, and the same is true in India’s understanding of China, resulting in frequent misperceptions. With its strong nationalist sentiment, India believes it is stronger, wiser, and better than China, and its actions would naturally reflect this belief.
Holding on to Uncle Sam: US-Taiwan Relations
The bilateral ties between the United States of America and Taiwan or the Republic of China (ROC) have developed through a peculiar and complex course. The relationship, however ambiguous, continues to form a crucial aspect of security relations in East Asia.
When the Communist forces led by Mao Zedong expelled Chiang Kai shek’s Nationalist regime, who fled to the isle of Taiwan in 1949, US President Harry Truman decided to accept the inevitability of the Communist victory in China and even planned to work out a bilateral relationship with the newly established People’s Republic of China without heeding much to the plight of his former ally Chiang. It was the eruption of the Korean War (1950-1953), which displayed the strength and danger of a Communist alliance between the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, that made President Truman realise the importance of supporting the staunchly anti-Communist regime of Chiang’s Kuomintang (KMT) as a bulwark against what became apparently the rising tide of Communism in the third world nations of Asia. The raison d’être of Chiang’s regime was to overthrow the Communist Party rule in Beijing and “reunify” Taiwan and Mainland China, an act that both the KMT and CCP believed would restore China’s historical rights over the island snatched away by the Japanese and would redeem the historical injustices it faced at the hands of the colonial powers. Chiang constantly insisted for the United States to help him in waging a war against Mao to achieve this objective. However, Washington was not ready to support another war in the region.
Chiang finally succeeded in framing Mao’s maritime offensive acts during the early 1950s as a growing threat and pursued the Eisenhower administration to sign with him the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty which promised military protection for his regime. The United States abdided by Chiang’s One China policy under which it recognised that Chiang’s Republic of China was the sole legitimate representative government of the one China that exists on the face of the earth.
It was by utilising Washington’s vast diplomatic clout that Chiang did not just earn non-socialist allies but also found place in the United Nations Security Council as a Permanent Member.
However, the golden days couldn’t last long. The growing differences between China and the Soviet Union became more apparent by the 1970s and gave way to clear enmity as border clashes and ideological tensions ensued. The United States saw this development as an opportunity to crack the socialist international alliance and decided to turn the dynamics of the security triangle between itself, Moscow and Beijing in its favour by recognising the People’s Republic of China. US President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972 and the Shanghai Communiqué that followed stated that ‘Chinese on both sides of the border believe that there is but one China’ and that ‘Taiwan is a part of China’. Washington left it to the CCP and KMT to decide which one represented the “One China” and promised not to intervene. In 1979, came a decisive shift as the United States established official ties with the PRC. Following Beijing’s non-negotiable One China Policy, Washington broke away all official ties with the ROC and officially recognised the PRC as the sole legitimate representative of the one China.
This came as a major setback for Chiang not just as a great betrayal but also as following Washington, several non-socialist allies like Canada shifted to recognise Beijing. Chiang refused to budge on his One China policy and broke away all ties with any country who recognised Beijing which costed him much of his diplomatic standing.
A major shock came when the issue of the permanent seat at the UNSC was raised. Washington asked Chiang to accept simultaneous representation of both ROC and PRC but the latter refused it and as UNSC Resolution 2758 was raised at the 26th United Nations General Assembly to oust ROC, Chiang staged a walkout thus leaving the space for the PRC to gain. What followed was a period of diplomatic isolation as by 1980s, the ROC was ousted from most major international organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as space was created for the PRC to be accomodated.
The only positive development for the Republic of China was the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 by the US Congress as a response to the government’s decision to establish official ties with Beijing. Thanks to an active Taiwan lobby, many Senators opposed the government’s decision and claimed that Washington must retain unofficial ties with Taiwan. Under the TRA, Washington not only maintains robust socioeconomic and cultural relations with Taiwan which function through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US which function in more or less the same way as the embassy but also maintains that any resolution to the Taiwan issue in a way other than a peaceful measure would be considered by Washington as a threat on the Western Pacific, implying its security perceptions of an expanse covering the concerns of the United States of America.
Democracy hues: Reunification to Independence
While the TRA brought some respite, Chiang Kai shek’s son Chiang Ching kuo, who took over the reins of governance after his father, realised the importance of democratisation in order to not just enhance Taiwan’s soft power among the liberal West but to also make it appeal to the Mainland Chinese who had presented the demand for civil freedom and democratic rights in the Tiananmen Square Movement of 1984. Hence, in 1987, the martial law was removed. Chiang’s successor, Lee Teng hui declared a unilateral end to the Chinese Civil war in 1991 thus, establishing socioeconomic and cultural ties with the Mainland and breaking away from the old KMT tradition of No Contact, No Negotiation and No Compromise with Communist China.
While the rhetoric of abiding by the “One China Policy” was maintained, Taiwan inched closer to an independent status, thanks to the democratisation process which made it important for the regime to reflect on the popular opinion which turned heavily anti-unification. With a proliferation of governmental and indigenous non-governmental organisations such as civil societies and political parties; deregulation of media and educational reforms among other changes led to the emergence of a new islander Taiwanese identity as distinct from Chinese ethnicity. For instance, in the 1994 White Paper Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan dissociated Republic of China from One China for the first time while maintaining the rhetoric of abiding by the policy. Such sentiments further developed as the leader of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) (which calls for Taiwan’s independence from the Mainland), Chen Shui bian, became the first non-KMT President in Taiwanese history. The growing strength of such sentiments is reflected in the eruption of the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan against President Ma Ying-jeou’s “viable diplomacy” with Mainland China which the protestors saw as making Taiwan increasingly economically dependent on Beijing which hampered the prospects for its independence as well as in the election victory of DPP’s Presidential candidate Tsai Ing wen who remains a major pro-Independence figure.
Thus, during the Cold War itself, Taiwan’s Foreign policy has changed from pressing the United States to recognise it as the One China to the one of being recognised as an independent sovereign nation which historically developed distinctly from that of China. Ever since the fall of the USSR in 1991 and the end of the Cold War which made Washington the undisputed hegemon in the international order, the United States has shifted its focus away from Taiwan to other regions such as Afghanistan where it finds its national interests served best. Taiwanese foreign policy in such a scenario has been to hold onto the United States as much as it can so as to ensure regime survival.
Is Taiwan still important to the United States?
While the dilution of ideological politics and increased communication with China since its Reform and Opening up (改革开放) in 1978 and the fall of the USSR has decreased Taiwan’s relevance for the United States, it still remains important.
First and foremost is the strategic reason as access to Taiwan presents a wide maritime defense depth for launching both offensive and counteroffensive measures.
Second, Taiwan is a region rich in natural resources particularly coal, oil and gas.
Third, as a democracy which has remained favourable to it since the very beginning, the United States does not just feel obligated to protect Taiwan for ideological reasons but also Taiwan’s presence as a flourishing democracy poses a major domestic political challenge to the CCP led PRC where the regime has taught its people that Western style democracy is unfit to Chinese culture and civilisational history.
Fourth and most importantly, the United States’ hegemony rests on its control of the Asia-Pacific region and though it might seem to be reducing its expanse, leaving China to take over Taiwan and the vast strategic importance it holds would be the last nail in the coffin of the era of US hegemony. The US hence, would fight till the last to maintain its relevance in the region by keeping Taiwan independent.
Is it important enough to go to war?
Though Taiwan is important to Washington, it puzzles many analysts if it would go to war with China in case Beijing tries to take over the island.
While the nuclear nature of both the nations is a huge deterrent which would, if at all, lead to a pyrrhic victory; the vastly enmeshed Sino-American economic relations is also a major reason where any hard blow on the Chinese economy would also hit Washington’s. If the United States loses the war, it would not just be immensely destroyed but would exit the world stage with a bang rather than a whimper making it harder to stand back as a world leader. Moreover, even if the United States wins, there would be no guarantee that China would not recuperate its forces and try another time to occupy the territory leading to more hostility and instability.
At the turn of the century, the United States realised China’s rise as an indisputable fact which meant that whether Washington liked it or not, it would constantly find Beijing on its way at every juncture. While such a development does not always mean confrontation or ensure cooperation, it shows the importance of dialogue and compromise in order to maintain stability which is mutually beneficial. Hence, while the United States would not sit back and watch Beijing take over Taiwan, it is also true that it would not rush to wage a war. Even though Beijing has stepped up its rhetoric of absorbing Taiwan with force if necessary, it realises that such a move would not be a cakewalk and hence is likely to consider other options before using force. The hard part of such developments is that it has reduced the central focus of Taiwan’s Foreign policy to holding onto the United States and by putting all its eggs in the American basket, Taiwan can hardly do anything substantial rather than wait for the two superpowers to decide on its future.
U.S. Violates Its Promises to China; Asserts Authority Over Taiwan
As Werner Rügemer headlined on 28 November 2021 and truthfully summarized the relevant history, “Taiwan: US deployment area against mainland China — since 1945”. However, despite that fact, America did officially issue a “Joint Communique” with China recognizing and acknowledging not only that Taiwan is a province of China but that for America or its allies or any other nation to challenge that historical fact would be unethical.
The U.S. regime hides this crucial historical fact, in order to hoodwink its masses of suckers into assuming to the exact contrary — that Taiwan isn’t a Chinese province. Here is how they do this:
The CIA-edited and written Wikipedia, which blacklists (blocks from linking to) sites that aren’t CIA-approved, is the first source for most people who become interested in what is officially known as the Shanghai Communique of 1972, or the 27 February 1972 “JOINT COMMUNIQUE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA”. That article, avoids presenting the Communique’s 1,921-word text, but instead provides, in its “Document” section, a mere 428-word very selective, and sometimes misleading, summary of some of the document’s less-important statements, and also fails to provide any link to the document itself, which they are hiding from readers.
The U.S. regime’s Wilson Center does have an article “JOINT COMMUNIQUE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA”, at which only the document’s opening 286 words are shown, while the rest is veiled and the reader must then do additional clicks in order to get to it.
The U.S. State Department’s history site, does provide the entire 1,921-word document, but under a different title, one that plays down the document’s actual importance, “Joint Statement Following Discussions With Leaders of the People’s Republic of China”. (If it’s a “Joint Statement,” then whom are the “Leaders of the People’s Republic of China” “jointly” issuing it with — that title for it is not only false, it is plain stupid, not even referring to the U.S, at all.) Consequently, anyone who seeks to find the document under its official and correct title won’t get to see it at the U.S. State Department’s site.
Here are some of the important statements in this document (as shown below that stupid title for it at the State Department’s site):
With these principles of international relations in mind the two sides stated that:
—progress toward the normalization of relations between China and the United States is in the interests of all countries;
—both wish to reduce the danger of international military conflict;
—neither should seek hegemony in the Asia–Pacific region and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony; and
—neither is prepared to negotiate on behalf of any third party or to enter into agreements or understandings with the other directed at other states.
Both sides are of the view that it would be against the interests of the peoples of the world for any major country to collude with another against other countries, or for major countries to divide up the world into spheres of interest. …
The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. With this prospect in mind, it affirms the ultimate objective of the withdrawal of all U.S. forces and military installations from Taiwan. In the meantime, it will progressively reduce its forces and military installations on Taiwan as the tension in the area diminishes.
The Wikipedia article’s 428-word summary of the “Document” did include parts of the paragraph which started “The U.S. side declared,” but the summary closed by alleging that the document “did not explicitly endorse the People’s Republic of China as the whole of China. Kissinger described the move as ‘constructive ambiguity,’ which would continue to hinder efforts for complete normalization.” How that passage — or especially the entire document — could have been stated with less “ambiguity” regarding “the People’s Republic of China as the whole of China” wasn’t addressed. In fact, the statement that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China” includes asserting that the Taiwanese people “maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.” So: the U.S. did agree with that, even signed to it in 1972. If the U.S. refuses to agree with it now, then what was the U.S. agreeing to in that Communique, and under what circumstances does the Communique become null and void for either of the two agreeing Parties to it? When does it stop being binding? Perhaps the document should have added something like “The U.S. Government will never try to break off pieces of China.” But maybe if that were to have been added to it, then the U.S. regime wouldn’t have signed to anything with China. Is the U.S. regime really that Hitlerian? Is this what is ‘ambiguous’ about the document?
In fact, the affirmation that, “The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. With this prospect in mind, it affirms the ultimate objective of the withdrawal of all U.S. forces and military installations from Taiwan.” is now routinely being violated by the U.S. regime. Here’s an example:
One of the leading U.S. billionaires-funded think tanks, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), was co-founded by Kurt Campbell, who is Joe Biden’s “Asia co-ordinator” or “Asia Tsar” with the official title of “National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific.” The other co-founder is Michèle Flournoy, who also co-founded with the current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, WestExec Advisors, which firm’s client-list is secret but generally assumed to be top investors in firms such as Lockheed Martin. That advisory firm’s activities are also secret.
Perhaps nothing is more profitable than trading on inside information regarding corporations whose main, if not only, sales are to the U.S. Government and its allied governments. Trading on inside information needs to be secret in order to be non-prosecutable. The clients of WestExec Advisors might be extraordinarily successful investors, because they’ve hired people who have ‘the right’ contacts in the federal bureaucracy and so know where your ‘national security’ tax-dollars are likeliest to be spent next.
CNAS issued, in October 2021, “The Poison Frog Strategy: Preventing a Chinese Fait Accompli Against Taiwanese Islands”. It was written as-if the Shanghai Communique hadn’t prohibited this. The presumption there was instead that America and Taiwan would have so much raised the heat against China’s not being picked apart, so as for China to have militarily responded in order to hold itself together; and, then, a stage, “MOVE 2,” would be reached, in which:
The Taiwan and U.S. teams engaged in more direct communication, which aided the U.S. team in framing the crisis. By Move 2, the U.S. team had accepted that using military force to retake Dongsha would be too escalatory and might disrupt the formation of any counter-China coalition. Accordingly, the team reframed the takeover of Dongsha as an opportunity to expose Chinese belligerence and to encourage states to join together to balance against China’s aggressive behavior. The U.S. team’s decision to place U.S. military forces on Taiwan during Move 1 became a key driver for the rest of the game.
By Move 3, both the U.S. and Taiwan teams were in difficult positions. The U.S. team did not want to let Chinese aggression go unpunished, both for the sake of Taiwan and within the context of the broader regional competition. At the same time, the U.S. team wanted to show its partners and allies that it was a responsible power capable of negotiating and avoiding all-out war. The Taiwan team was caught in an escalating great-power crisis that threatened to pull Taiwan into a war that it was trying to avoid. The Taiwan team had to balance its relationships and policies with the United States and China while simultaneously spearheading de-escalation. And in the early part of the game, before communication between the United States and Taiwan teams improved, the Taiwan team had, unbeknownst to the U.S. team, set up a back channel with the China team. At the same time the back-channel negotiations were ongoing, the U.S. team was still, in fact, considering additional escalatory action against the China team. …
Toward the end of the game, the U.S. and Taiwan teams’ main strategy was to isolate China diplomatically and economically and garner enough international backing among allies and partners to make that isolation painful. To this end, the Taiwan team focused on pulling in some of its regional partners, such as Japan, while the U.S. team reached out to its NATO allies.9 To avoid unwanted escalation or permanent effects, the U.S. and Taiwan teams limited their offensive military operations to non-kinetic and reversible actions such as cyberattacks and electronic warfare.
Under “Key Takeaways and Policy Recommendations” is:
Given the inherent difficulty of defending small, distant offshore islands like Dongsha, Taiwan and the United States should strive to turn them into what the players called “poison frogs.” This approach would make Chinese attempts to seize these islands so militarily, economically, and politically painful from the outset that the costs of coercion or aggression would be greater than the benefits.
The U.S. regime’s having in 1972 committed itself to there being only “a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves” has somehow now become a license for the U.S. regime to provoke “Chinese attempts to seize these islands” and yet to cause — by America’s constant further provocations and lying — this to be “so militarily, economically, and politically painful from the outset that the costs of coercion or aggression would be greater than the benefits.”
In other words: the U.S. regime expects to portray China as being the aggressor, and the U.S. regime as being the defender — but, actually, of what? It would be the defender of breaking off a piece of China to add it to the U.S. regime’s allies, against an ‘aggressive’ China that opposes America’s violating its own, and China’s, 1972 Joint Shanghai Communique — which prohibits that.
On May 19th, The Hill, one of the U.S. regime’s many propaganda-mouthpieces, headlined “China warns of dangerous situation developing ahead of Biden Asia trip”, and opened:
China warned the U.S. that President Biden’s visit to East Asia this week could put their relations in “serious jeopardy” if officials play the “Taiwan card” during the trip.
In a phone call with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi warned the U.S. against speaking out on the independent sovereignty of Taiwan, a self-ruling democratic island in the Indo-Pacific that China claims is historically part of the mainland and should be under Beijing’s control.
China doesn’t claim that Taiwan “is historically part of the mainland and should be under Beijing’s control,” but that, just like Hawaii is NOT a part of “the mainland” but IS “under U.S. control,” and NOT “a self-ruling” nation, Taiwan is NOT a part of “the mainland” but IS (not ‘should be’, but IS) under China’s control, and NOT “a self-ruling” nation. Just as there is no “independent sovereignty of Hawaii,” there also is no “independent sovereignty of Taiwan.” How many lies were in that opening? (And this doesn’t even bring in the fact that whereas Hawaii is way offshore of America’s mainland, Taiwan is very close to China’s mainland.)
And how long will the U.S. regime’s constant lying continue to be treated as if that’s acceptable to anything other than yet another dangerously tyrannical regime — a U.S. ally, perhaps?
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