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International Last Updated: Nov 6, 2021 - 5:18:01 PM


Conflict over Taiwan
By German Foreign Policy, 4/11/21
Nov 5, 2021 - 12:43:14 PM

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USA upgrades Taiwan's armament, provokes China with gunboat diplomacy and wants to seat Taipei next to Beijing in the United Nations. Berlin should participate in this campaign.

 

Germany should "vigorously" promote "Taiwan's greater representation in international organizations," as demanded by the USA, and "in the long run" insist on its UN membership. This is a growing demand by representatives of foreign policy think tanks in Berlin and by commentators in leading German media organs in the context of a US campaign aimed at undermining the UN resolution recognizing the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate representative of China at the UN. The campaign, in turn, is part of Washington's efforts to instrumentalize Taiwan more than before in its power struggle with Beijing. Washington is upgrading Taipei's armaments - with arms export clearances worth US $18 billion under the Trump administration. With US warships crossing on a monthly basis through the Taiwan Straits, it is intensifying its gunboat diplomacy and is beginning to permanently station US troops on Taiwan, while planning to deploy medium-range missiles on the "first island chain" off China, including Taiwan.

Majority for the Status Quo

Taiwan's status has been a bone of contention ever since the Kuomintang - defeated in the Chinese civil war - retreated to the island, while the victorious Communists founded the People's Republic on the mainland on October 1, 1949. For decades, Taiwan's leadership has been claiming to represent all of China, but - in the meantime - has given up this position. Pointing out that Taiwan has been part of Chinese territory since the end of the 17th century, Beijing, likewise, lays claim and insists to this day. The Anti-Secession Law, adopted by the National People’s Congress on March 14, 2005, stipulates that the goal is reunification with Taiwan, which will "enjoy a high degree of autonomy." Reunification should be achieved peacefully, but in the case of Taiwan's formal secession or if "possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, ... non-peaceful means and other necessary measures" will be used. In Taiwan, only 1.5 percent of the population is in favor of a speedy reunification, but 5.7 percent favor independence as fast as possible. More than 87 percent favor maintaining the status quo according to a survey conducted by the National Chengchi University in Taipei.[1]

Arms Deliveries and Gunboat Diplomacy

For years, in spite of - or because of - the sensitive situation, the United States has been exacerbating tensions, not least of all, by massively supplying arms to Taiwan. Already under President Barack Obama, Washington had approved US $14 billion worth of arms deliveries to Taipei. Under President Donald Trump the permits for an additional US $18 billion in arms deliveries were issued. The US has also stationed several dozen of its military personnel on Taiwan. They are training Taiwanese ground troops and marines. Both actions are in violation of agreements reached in the 1970s and 80s, wherein Washington - in the course of its establishment of diplomatic relations - promised Beijing "gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan" and to continuously lower the number of "its armed forces and installations on Taiwan."[2] The Biden administration is not only sending its warships almost monthly through the Taiwan Straits - gunboat diplomacy style provocations - but incessantly prodding allied countries to join in. In October, for example, a Canadian frigate accompanied a US Navy destroyer on its cruise between Taiwan and the People's Republic.

Missiles on the First Island Chain

At the same time, these armament and military measures on and around Taiwan are merely elements of a comprehensive military buildup by the USA and allied countries against China. The US Armed Forces are not only expanding their bases along the route to East Asia, over the Pacific, such as on the US colony of Guam, which serves as the military hub and the runway for eventual aerial attacks on the People's Republic, but also on Palau, a bit further west. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) The United States plans to station medium-range missiles on the first island chain, running along the Chinese coast from north to south, from Japan and Taiwan, the Philippines to Borneo.[4] So far, none of these states have given their official consent, however, should the USA station its offensive weapons, de facto, these would transform the first island chain, into missile launching pads for a war against China. Beijing is reacting to Washington's and its allies' escalating military threats, by expanding its own maneuvers - not only in general, but also in the vicinity of Taiwan.

UN Resolution 2758

In turn, the western powers are using this as a justification to further heighten pressure on the People's Republic, particularly in terms of escalating the conflict over Taiwan. In late October, Washington officially launched a campaign,[5] aimed at Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system. This openly contradicts the official policy of the United Nations. In the dispute over whether Taipei or Beijing should represent China at the UN, the UN General Assembly changed course on October 25, 1971, adopting Resolution 2758, stating the "legitimate representatives of China" is forthwith the People's Republic of China - while the "representatives of Chiang Kai-shek," the ruler in Taipei at the time, had to withdraw from "the United Nations and all the organizations related to it," because, until that time, these had been "unlawfully occupied." Since then, Taiwan has had no representation in UN bodies. Years ago, when there was still hope that there could be a rather reasonable co-existence between the West and China, Beijing agreed not to insist on Resolution 2758 being applied to the letter, and did not object, for example, to Taiwan having observer status in the plenary of the WHO. Since the West has massively escalated its power struggle against China, Beijing has ceased making concessions.

"Germany Should Take the Lead"

In this situation, appeals are becoming louder in Germany and in the EU, calling on Berlin to join the US campaign, to increase its support of Taiwan in the power struggle against China, and at the same time, to provoke Beijing with targeted pinpricks. For example, one reads in major German media organs that the German government must "clearly take a stand in favor of Taiwan's inclusion at the multilateral level," namely "with the short-term objective of observer status and the long-term goal of obtaining UN membership."[6] A week ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an appeal from the director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, Thorsten Benner, wherein he says Germany should "vigorously promote Taiwan's better representation in international organizations:" "Germany should take the lead in this question."[7] Benner's GPPi, describes itself as an "independent think tank" [8] and according to its own accounts, currently receives more than 40 percent of its funding from unnamed "governments."[9] Benner also calls for the "Government and the Bundestag" to "intensify its political contacts to Taiwan," and to simulate "scenarios," for the case of a military escalation of the conflict. The EU as well as several of its member countries are expanding their cooperation with Taiwan and making targeted provocations against China. german-foreign-policy.com will soon report.

[1] Taiwan Independence vs. Unification with the Mainland (1994/12 ~ 2021/06). esc.nccu.edu.tw 20.07.2021.

[2] Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China. August 17, 1982. Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China (Shanghai Communiqué). February 28, 1972.

[3] See also Die Fregatte Bayern auf Kolonialfahrt (II).

[4] Matthew Strong: US plans missile network along first island chain targeting China. taiwannews.com.tw 05.03.2021.

[5] Antony J. Blinken: Supporting Taiwan's Participation in the UN System. state.gov 26.10.2021.

[6] Cornelius Dieckmann: Taiwan gehört in die Vereinten Nationen. tagesspiegel.de 24.10.2021.

[7] Thorsten Benner: Deutschland muss Peking in Taiwan die Stirn bieten. faz.net 28.10.2021.

[8] About GPPi. gppi.net.

[9] Funding Structure & Sources. gppi.net.


Source:Ocnus.net 2021

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