NANCY Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was a grave provocation and runs counter to the Shanghai Communiques of 1972 and 1979 which affirmed respectively the “One China” policy agreed by the United States (US) and also acknowledged that Taiwan is a part of China.
Since then, the world has been looking to the day when Taiwan will be peacefully reunited with Mainland China.
However, since day one the US has not shown any sincerity to fulfilling the agreement but has instead done whatever it can to delay or destroy the reunification process.
The US continues to state that it does not accept Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan although it accepts the “One China” policy.
Only the US can fully understand this ambiguity or rigmarole. In the last two decades the US and its allies have ensured that Taiwan is armed to the teeth and the island is now bristling with high tech weapons, patriot missiles and advanced F16s.
Additionally, the US and its allies have strengthened the pro-independence lobby through monetary funding, political support, trade, investments, socio-economic benefits.
As one can notice from recent polls and surveys, more than half the island’s population prefer independence, which was not the case many years ago.
China had indifferently allowed the US to strengthen Taiwan by bolstering its defences. If peaceful reunification was the objective why is there a need to create a Fortress Taiwan, which is the reality today?
China should have stopped the US from boosting Taiwan’s defences a long time ago by aggressively prohibiting it as China showed last week with its threatening military drills close to Taiwan’s borders.
If China is not opting for an invasion or war, the other alternative is to support pro-unification groups and parties in Taiwan very much like what the US and its allies have been doing in Taiwan.
Taiwan has a vibrant democracy and China should try to win over the Taiwanese and convince them that it is the only way that Taiwan can continue to be stable, peaceful and prosperous.
A fratricidal war or an invasion will undo what the Taiwanese have built over the decades.
China also needs to offer some privileges and incentives to the Taiwanese for re-unification, very much like what it did for Hong Kong and Macao but at the same time keep up the military pressure as it is doing now and also offer political support for pro-unification groups. This will be much better than resorting to war which could bring about death and destruction as is now happening in Ukraine.
Even though it appears that China has the military might and advantage in a conflict with Taiwan, however, with present-day high-tech weapons it could drag on as is happening in Ukraine.
Many thought that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a cake walk for Russia and that it will all over for Ukraine in a week or two.
This has surprisingly not proven to be the case and Russia’s “special military operations” still continue with no end in sight.
The US and its allies will come to the support of Taiwan, and a worst-case scenario could even be a devastating nuclear war.
Come to think of it, it would have been better if China had decided to put an end to this dilemma in 1949.
China should have pursued the fleeing Chiang Kai-Shek and his top leadership into Taiwan, captured them, tried and executed the leaders by firing squad for war crimes during the Civil War which led to hundreds of thousands if not millions of Chinese being killed by the Nationalists.
China had the advantage then and the US would not have been able to do anything militarily other than possibly offering refuge to the Nationalist leader and his followers in the US.
The Taiwan problem could have been settled there and then instead of being allowed to fester for the last seven decades and threatening international peace.
On this issue the international community too was taken for a ride by the West which blindly continued to insist that Taiwan still represented Mainland China.
Even the UN was part of this nonsense and farce when Taiwan defiantly continued to be a member of the Big Five with veto powers in the Security Council until 1971 when the West realised that the reality of the situation was not going to change. – Aug 12, 2022
Sungai Buloh, Selangor
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.