By Finian Cunningham
– The Biden administration this week brazenly announced its intention to walk over China’s red line warning on Taiwan. The move by the US is a recklessly provocative step that dares an inevitable military response from Beijing.
If that happens then all bets are off for a full-scale military confrontation between the United States, its allies, and China. It is not alarmist to say such a clash would escalate into World War III.
Australia and Britain are explicitly committed to a military alliance with the United States in the Asia-Pacific through the recently formed AUKUS pact. Russia will be obliged to defend China.
The date in question is December 9-10 when the Biden administration plays host to a so-called “Summit of Democracies”. This week the State Department announced a list of “participants” that include 110 countries. China and Russia are not invited, among other excluded nations.
Most provocatively, the separatist Chinese territory of Taiwan is invited to attend the video conference. The US is careful to refer to Taiwan as a “participant”, not as a “nation”. Nevertheless, this semantical device aside, the invitation is a blatant violation of China’s sovereign claim of authority over Taiwan.
China’s claim to Taiwan as being a part of its integral territory is recognized by the United Nations and, at least in theory, by the United States with its One China Policy since 1979.
The island of Taiwan has existed as a self-governing territory since China’s civil war ended in 1949 with communist victory. The nationalist opponents fled
to Taiwan. China retains the right to reunite Taiwan under governance from the mainland. Beijing has warned it will do so by military force if Taiwan ever declares independence.
Washington maintains a position of “strategic ambiguity” whereby it acknowledges a One China Policy while also simultaneously offering US commitments to help Taiwan with military defense.
Since Joe Biden took the White House in January, his administration has taken this ambiguity to dangerous levels. At one point, Biden has overstepped policy by explicitly stating the US would defend Taiwan in the event of a confrontation with China.
At a teleconference summit on November 16, China’s President Xi Jinping admonished US policy on Taiwan as “playing with fire”. Xi drew a red line that Washington must desist from inciting separatist ambitions of the Taiwanese government.
The announcement this week of the “Summit of Democracies” and specifically the invitation of Taiwan while excluding China is about as bold as it can get by the Biden administration in undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. That it comes only days after a verbal commitment from Biden to Xi that the US adheres to One China Policy and is not seeking Taiwan’s independence makes the provocation all the more contemptuous.
Biden’s ratcheting up of tensions with China is not out of the blue. For more than a decade, successive administrations under Obama, Trump and now Biden have been targeting Beijing as its top national security threat. Washington continually accuses China of aggression in the Asia-Pacific which is an inversion of reality. Taiwan has become a spearhead for Washington to antagonize China with. Under this administration, arms sales to Taiwan have increased as well as US naval and air force maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait under the cynical pretext of “freedom of navigation operations”.
President Biden has made “democracy versus authoritarianism” a theme of his White House. Calling a summit of 110 participating countries for the summit on December 9-10 is an arrogant attempt to demarcate the world into a false
dichotomy whereby presumed virtuous nations are under the benign leadership of the United States. China has slammed the summit as an artificial polarization of nations into so-called allies and enemies in what is a throwback to the Cold War decades. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this divisive manipulation of international relations is simply a ploy by the United States to exert its hegemonic ambitions.
China says it is not up to the United States to define what is democracy and what is not. Beijing asserts that “democracy belongs to all humanity”. It’s not just about holding cycles of elections. In the case of the United States, its “democracy” is dominated by two parties bankrolled by Wall Street capitalists and plutocrats. Its record on poverty, inequality, racism, and warmongering is plentiful to roundly negate pretentious claims of “democracy”.
In any case, back in August when the Biden administration first announced its plans for a “democracy summit” Beijing warned Washington not to use the forum to incite Taiwanese tensions. If the US persisted, China said it would order military planes and warships to Taiwan.
There is an unmistakable sense that China has had it with US provocations. The mainland has been making military preparations for a showdown over Taiwan. This insane move by Washington to call a “summit of democracies” – how bitterly ironic – could well be the final act of American treachery. War is on the cards and we just got a date.
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