Destabilizing speculation

Chinese expert warns US against Taiwan policy changes

A Chinese political commentator has warned the Biden administration not to change US policy toward Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), saying it “could have a serious impact on bilateral relations between the United States and China, as well as on the security situation across the strait”.

Yilun Zhang, who is a research associate at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for China-American Studies, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday after President Joe Biden claimed the United States still respects the “strategy” policy. ambiguity” towards Taiwan.

Biden’s comment on Tuesday about the United States’ continuing “strategic ambiguity” over Chinese Taipei came a day after he made waves by saying unequivocally that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

Zhang said, “This is not the first time the Biden administration has sent mixed signals regarding the Taiwan issue.”

“In fact, President Biden made a similar comment and stated unequivocally that the United States was determined to defend Taiwan if China attacked last October. The White House, just like this time, made it clear that the United States would always stick to its one-China policy and maintain its strategic ambiguity. Which happened last October and this time was pretty much the same. President Biden makes strong comments and the White House clarifies the statements and rules out any potential speculation. That said, as this is the second time such a thing has happened, it is logical to assume that these confusing signals are part of the US salami-cutting approach to subtly alter its stance on Taiwan,” he said. -he declares.

“The one-China policy, as serious as it sounds, is actually quite a high ceiling. US policymakers and diplomats may now find it convenient to accomplish much under that ceiling without actually changing long-standing US policies and positions. But it should be warned that an excessive focus on these quick and brief achievements will set many dangerous precedents that could have a serious impact on bilateral relations between the United States and China, as well as on the security situation throughout the world. Detroit,” the analyst said.

Biden’s remarks reportedly angered Beijing, which has repeatedly warned the United States against its increased support for Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Monday that China deplores Biden’s comments and said the United States should refrain from sending the wrong message “to avoid causing serious harm.” damage to bilateral relations”.

Zhang said that “it should also be noted that domestic political considerations can also play a considerable role in the actions of the Biden administration in Taiwan.”

“Since taking office, the Biden administration has made very little progress in its dialogue with China. Confusing comments about Taiwan may be an easy way for the Biden administration to show the American people that they are tough on it. The division of labor is pretty clear here, Biden playing this big, tough political figure, while the White House and State Department clarify US intentions to prevent an over-intensification of US relations with China “, did he declare.

“The Taiwan issue has always been a skeleton in the closet of the US-China bilateral relationship. But until recently, he had never become an elephant in the room for the benign development of the bilateral relationship. The issue only became a key point of controversy and tension in recent years when Beijing and Washington began pointing fingers at each other, accusing the other side of changing the status quo and destabilizing the Strait,” he said. -he declares.

“Washington’s strategic shift to focus on the Indo-Pacific region and define China as a strategic competitor has definitely made the Taiwan issue more complicated. China’s growing power in the Western Pacific has naturally changed the power dynamics in the region,” the analyst said.

“That being said, tensions over the Taiwan issue should not have reached their current level if Beijing and Washington are fully willing to communicate with each other to eliminate strategic mistrust and engage in building safeguards for the relationship. “Although senior diplomats from the two countries have held multiple dialogues over the past 15 months, concerns over Taiwan have never been a key area of ​​interest on the US side,” he said.

“While the Chinese readings of each of these dialogues devoted at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the paragraphs expressing Beijing’s longstanding position on the Taiwan issue and China’s concerns, the American versions rarely mention the position of Taiwan or Beijing. Both countries should realize that at this stage, the Taiwan issue should be seriously discussed to clarify intentions. Taiwan should only be treated as many other fundamental differences between Beijing and Washington that both sides choose to agree to disagree, not as political leverage to cause pain or push the other side to play the bad guy. “, did he declare.

China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the “One China” policy, almost every country in the world recognizes this sovereignty. The United States also recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island, but has long courted Taipei in defiance of Beijing.

“Lastly and most importantly, as the Taiwan issue has become a significant stumbling block in U.S.-China bilateral relations, overemphasizing the differences between Beijing and Washington and locking up the most important bilateral relationship in the world in a small strait would be a big mistake,” Zhang said.

“Policymakers and diplomats on both sides need to be aware of many other key areas, whether competitive or cooperative, including bilateral trade, people-to-people exchanges, climate change and nuclear non-proliferation. These issues have broader implications for US-China relations as well as the rest of the world. The development of the future US-China relationship should not be defined by Taiwan, but by China and the United States,” he concluded.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for vigorous competition with sworn enemy China to preserve the existing world order, but was quick to add that Washington was not looking for a “cold war”.

In a speech at George Washington University, the top US diplomat described the Biden administration’s approach as “invest, align, compete”, calling Beijing “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”. , despite the recent emphasis on war. in Ukraine.

“China is the only country with both the intention to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological might to do so,” Blinken said.

He stressed that China remains the top priority of the Biden administration despite the support and assistance the United States provides to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.