US-China: Yet another Power Dispute through Taiwan?

As Morgenthau claimed “National interest is defined in terms of Power” can be seen veracious in contemporary circumstances. However, this is not just a regular dispute existing between states to have power over one another, it is a contest for world order, where prevailing superpower must sustain it for favorable conditions while emerging one should change it for it to have a command over a prevailing one.

Looking at the recent circumstances, when US democrat house speaker Nancy Pelosi visited self-governing Island Taiwan even though it was strongly condemned by China. It displayed a direct confrontation of US uncertainty towards China’s Prosperity. Moreover, it also showed that in order to stop the profitability US had to get in China’s sphere of influence to reinforce the balance of power in East Asia. Even though US has been following “One China Policy” and does not formally consider Taiwan a sovereign state, this recent visit might change the status of Taiwan as a new tactic from US to contain China.

This Indication created security threat for China via US as these two had cordial diplomatic relations but this halted multiple cooperation between them especially on the climate change. Not only that, but it also provoked China to conduct heavy military exercise for days near Taiwan, the result of which can be the invasion of Taiwan in the near future. This somehow gives us the déjà vu of cold war era when there were proxy wars mostly based on ideological differences. The current situation is not much different, both states are capitalist but one belongs to authoritarian leader and other belongs to democratic leader. This again becomes the matter of “winning” ideology and its possible domination of the world.

Looking at one of the analyst opinion which asserted that China’s strategy is based on “win without fighting”, I believe there are high chances that china will change its strategy to direct confrontation in order to invade Taiwan because of security threat from US. As reported by BBC the president Xi Jinping has increased his military spending to become world class military that would be able to fight wars till 2049. US has always used its military to generate economy while China has always focused on Economic development and Industrialization, that is why it is close to becoming a superpower. However, this provocation done by US through Miss Nancy Pelosi visit is a way to waver China from its strategy and goal by instigating the traditional use of arm power to achieve the ultimate goal.

If China changes its strategy and starts focusing on building arms instead of focusing on generating economy through trade and projects then it will be hard for it to become the next superpower. The reason for that being is China’s way of generating economy, which results in every state of Asia working to have investments with China. However, in case of arm race, US has always been ahead because of the prominent role of “military industrial complex”, so the possibility of China competing with US on arm race is quite less.

According to the speculative analysis, China’s GDP is going to be world largest in the world by 2035 because of its investments on the infrastructure as one of the biggest ongoing project Belt and Road initiative (BRI). It can easily and immediately change the status quo as it expands from East Asia to Europe, hence drastically increasing China’s geopolitical and economic influence. It will not only flourish economies of Asian third world countries but also help in spurring economic links with western region for China.

The China’s assertive way of doing politics has embedded fear in American policy makers about magnanimity and momentum of Belt and Road Initiative as it could be a threat to US power. The dominant power is always threatened by the growth of foe’s stability, and as it is a mega project it can destabilize the hegemony of America. This rising fear of China’s burgeoning can be the driver of the conflict.

Michael Beckley asserted that, “USA has a huge lead by the most important measures of National Power, China is the only country that has come adjacent to US but still has three times the wealth and five times the military capabilities as compared to China”. However, if that is the case then this agitation of China’s growth may result in decline of US. The greatest risk for US strategy lies not in doing too little but in overreacting to the fears of Chinese ascent and American decline. Instead of hyping China’s rise and gearing up for new Cold War, Washington should take more modest steps to strengthen its influence in East Asia by bringing enticing and tempting offers and projects that cannot be repudiated and reinvigorate the economy. To keep the peace US leaders should seek to engage rather than alienate Beijing as it will favor US in long term geopolitical trends. Whether the rise of Beijing will cause the decline of Washington is something the future holds, but the rise of China is foreseen and cannot be stopped. The distress of US make us wonder how they are going to deal with each other. There is still time for China to come on par with US but comportment shows that it is not that far for us to see a change in world order.

Hadia Saif
Hadia Saif
My name is Hadia Saif and I am currently persuing Bachelors in International Relations from International Islamic University. My anatomization exibits various perspectives of one situation based on foreign policy behavior of states and decision making of leaders to achieve ends by various means. I like to contribute my rhetorics in the world of Diplomacy.