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The US, China, And Taiwan – A Burgeoning Conflictual Triangle

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Taiwan

The growing conflict regarding the authority over Taiwan has become a bone of contention between the US and China. Ever since the separation of Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the US has favored the independence of Taiwan while China sees this favor as an intervention in its domestic policies. There have been many minor political and geostrategic conflicts between the PRC and Taiwanese governments which have further escalated the conflict. Experts suggest that with the continuous favor of the US for the Taiwanese stance of independence, the issue can rapidly turn into a major geopolitical dilemma in the Pacific region.

The relations between the US and China have rapidly deteriorated due to the many areas of contention in the South China Sea. Although there are many other political, economic, ideological, and strategic differences among the two countries, however, the South China Sea has become one of the most dangerous issues in the Pacific region.

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Taiwan, fiercely and adamantly emphasizing its independence from China has always worked on separate political principles from China. It is seeking favors from the Western countries like the US and Europe that are already in competition with China. This has further led China to impose its sovereignty upon the small country. China calls the matter of Taiwan the “internal matter of China” while the US sees it as an act of forced imposition of political power.

Amidst all this tug of war for permanent independence, the South China Sea has become a new platform for another “cold war” which is not just based on ideological and political issues, but now in economic competition and a race for acquiring geostrategic hegemony in the region. China, being the biggest and most powerful country among all other regional players, is the only major obstacle considered by the US to extend its influence in the Pacific.

Taiwan’s stance

Taiwan blames China for frequent cyber attacks, political intervention, economic hurdles, disinformation/ false news agenda, preventing development activities through legal jurisdictions, and preventing international organizations to support Taiwan. These claims have been vehemently rejected by the PRC government and have been retaliated with further stringent measures. Despite that, Taiwan remains focused on strengthening its independence and sovereignty as a separate country. 

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China’s stance

China believes, in its One China Policy which considers Taiwan as an integral part of the PRC. The Chinese government is very clear about not compromising on this policy in any way. The country has warned to go to any extent to keep this stance intact, both strategically and politically.

The role of the US

The US has always sought to befriend the enemies of the enemy. It wants to extend its influence in the Pacific through the intervention in the South China Sea issue by supporting the countries that conflict with China. That is why it is supporting South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan against China in economic and geostrategic terms.

This role of the US is highly seen by China as an intervention in regional politics, which they are not going to compromise on at any cost, according to the government of the PRC. 

From frequent news of China intersecting Taiwan’s airspace to the US warnings to the PRC not extending its influence in the region, the triangle of dangerous war games among the three countries has made the region highly volatile. Experts suggest that although China might illegally practice its influence in the region being the most powerful country, however the constant interference of the US might take the conflict to a more dangerous level. Thus, diplomatic efforts from both sides and a positive role of the United Nations are needed to de-escalate the conflict.

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