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May 31, 2022
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USA, China and the island of Taiwan – the end of ambiguity

The United States politicizes and ideologizes anything

Six months ago, Biden assured Xi Jinping that the United States adheres to the “one China” principle. That “the United States does not seek to change the Chinese system, does not seek to strengthen alliances against China, and does not intend to enter into conflict with China.” This meant that the United States did not support Taiwanese independence and hoped that peace and stability would be maintained in the Taiwan Strait.

The principle of “one China”, recognized by most countries of the world, means the existence of only one Chinese state with its capital in Beijing, despite the fact that there is another that claims to be called “China” – the island of Taiwan. This principle was officially recognized by the United States in 1979.

Taiwan close to China is “convenient” for the United States in almost the same sense in which the location of Ukraine with a pro-American regime near the borders of the Russian Federation is “convenient” for them. President Biden said the US would be ready to intervene to protect Taiwan if China invaded the island. An end to political ambiguity over the island’s existence as independent of mainland China.

Joe Biden is not Jimmy Carter. And now is not 1979, when the superpower of the USSR existed and the US President signed the “Law on Relations with Taiwan”, recognizing the island as part of the PRC. The 1979 Act was enacted, as stated in its preamble, “for the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Western Pacific.” And Biden, while in Tokyo on May 23, in response to a question whether the United States was ready to “take military participation in protecting Taiwan,” said: “Yes. This is a commitment that we have made… I expect a lot depends on how strongly the world will make it clear that this kind of action [вторжение КНР на Тайвань. – Ред.] lead to long-term disapproval.”

The world in the eyes of the representatives of the American elite is the United States and those whom they will put next to each other, “defending” one part of China from another. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Biden sat next to him. And Kishida obediently declared that “unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, as in Ukraine, should never be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region.” The Japanese prime minister and the American president persistently emphasized to reporters the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait (apparently, therefore, Biden approved of Japan’s efforts to “fundamentally strengthen defense capabilities”).

U.S. direct investment in the region in 2020 totaled more than $969 billion, confirming the claim that the U.S. “is the economic powerhouse of the Indo-Pacific region and the expansion of U.S. economic leadership here benefits American workers and businesses, as well as the people of the region.” – wrote the American online edition of Global Security.

“The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is the economic component of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, which many in Asia see as being military-focused. However, IPEF is not a free trade agreement. It is stated that this is an initiative to establish “rules” in four areas: trade sustainability (strengthening global supply chains), infrastructure, decarbonization, and the fight against corruption. The rules will be set for US partners who have joined the initiative: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, which together produce 40 percent of global GDP.

The “established rules of trade,” the White House announced, should above all rejoice in the opportunities “for American workers, small businesses, and ranchers to compete in the Indo-Pacific.” Well, and the US military-industrial complex, because it is with American weapons that Taiwan’s “freedom and independence” will be asserted.

It is easy to see that among the signatories of the new agreement with the United States, there are only three ASEAN members: Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore. It is to their advantage that the US Indo-Pacific plans are aimed at countering the growing influence of China. The rest of the ASEAN countries, especially the small and medium ones, are likely to remain neutral. It is difficult for them to guess which side the United States will turn towards them tomorrow if the Chinese navy looms on the horizon.

On the day the IPEF was announced, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “The so-called Indo-Pacific strategy is doomed to failure” because it “causes more and more wariness and anxiety, tries to erase the very name “Asia-Pacific” and effective architecture of regional cooperation around China… The US is politicizing and ideologizing economic issues, using economic means to force the countries of the region to choose between China and the United States.”

In Tokyo, the matter was not limited to the proclamation of the Indo-Pacific economic structure. The capital of Japan also hosted the Quad summit, at which the leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia unveiled a plan to monitor the sea in the Indo-Pacific region, promising to invest $50 billion in infrastructure to counter China. In a joint statement, Joe Biden, Fumio Kishida, Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese announced that Quad “is a force for good” and “is committed to delivering tangible benefits to the entire world.” What that “use” is, we’ll see shortly…

Cover photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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