Storm clouds are gathering. China has a plan for Taiwan, likely isolating and declaring “one country, two systems,” as in Hong Kong. Problem is, Taiwan is not interested, has had decades of de facto independence. Many in Congress, as well as Biden and Trump Administrations – think Taiwan is in danger. They are right. China must be deterred.
Taiwan is important, and emblematic. China is testing US resolve – not just with indignant words (“wolf warrior diplomacy”), COVID or information operations (“unrestricted warfare”), trade or currency manipulation, maritime or space weapons, but in a more palpable way.
China wants to see how far the US will go to support Taiwan, since NATO doctrine in Europe limits how we support Ukraine to defeat Russian aggression. If offensive weapons are sent to Ukraine, that could trigger Article 5 – open a world war. For that reason, NATO has hedged bets defending Ukraine, offered defensive but not offense weapons.
In Asia, there is no NATO, no limits on US support. The SEATO treaty – South Asia Treaty Organization – died in 1977, two years before Jimmy Carter pushed the “Taiwan Relations Act,” which de-recognized Taiwan for Communist China.
This means that, in addition to defensive systems, the US could offer dual use or offensive systems to Taiwan. Australia and Japan would likely agree since Taiwan is their front yard.
Adding uncertainty, President Biden has blurred diplomatic lines, apparently ditched “strategic ambiguity” and a “two Chinas” policy for the edgy idea that, if China attacks Taiwan, we will defend the island.
That abrupt turn created what you might call a “diplomatic riptide,” decades of US policy – and even State now – reassuring China nothing has changed, while Biden suggests war is possible.
To some, this might seem clever policy or a happy evolution in Biden’s pro-China policy to something with teeth, a “stand up” approach. Problem is China does not believe Biden, as evidenced by anti-US rhetoric, invasion of Taiwan’s airspace, maritime encirclement, bribing nations to de-recognize Taiwan (15 from 22), and rising pressure on the democratic island.
Looking at recent history, false promises by China not to abrogate the Hong Kong treaty were washed out to sea, gradual incursions becoming a communist tsunami, ending their status.
True, open water separates Communist China from Taiwan, and Taiwan is not naïve. They are well-stocked with defensive systems, would be hard to overcome by force, and China is watching Russia hemorrhage credibility in Ukraine, start an emergency call-up, get pushed back.
China does not want to start a losing war. To his credit – a bit late – Biden has learned to not invite a “minor incursion” by an adversary on an ally. The adversary may take you at your word.
Which brings us back to what China really thinks. Watching Biden fail miserably in Afghanistan, founder at border protection, drug interdiction, crime, economic policy, cultural cohesion, public trust, and everything he does, China may think this is their chance.
No member of the US Congress, this Administration, military service chief, intelligence community leader, or any official in a position of public trust should underestimate what China could attempt, may be thinking, and may imagine they could get away with.
Nor should they underestimate the unintended-yet-hard-to-reverse ways in which horrific wars begin. They are easier to start than stop, do more damage than anyone imagined, scar the land.
The real question is simple: How does Biden, with the help of R’s and D’s in Congress, send a clear, unambiguous message to Communist China, one that says we will defend that nation, will win any war we enter, and that China would end with less credibility than Russia?
The answer is, complete near-term weapon deals with Taiwan as possible, including for offensive or “dual use” weapons, to be clear we are serious. Make clear any aggressive act will produce immediate US military support, permitting Taiwan to prevail. Stop sending mixed signals. And now that Biden has offered a commitment, hold it – firmly, no walk-backs.
Congress should unify around the mission of deterring war, as Reagan unified congressional Republicans and Democrats to make clear the Soviet Union’s communist aggression would not stand, would fall to freedom and self-determination. This is the moment to say “No.”
China is uneasy and unclear what US policy is, what the Biden Administration’s mixed messages, jumbled words, and half-hearted pledges mean, especially in view of Afghanistan, Russia, and Ukraine. China is testing us. Now is the time to make clear we are the world’s strongest, proven defender of freedom, one friends can count on, and foes must fear.
If the Biden team can pause long enough to synchronize their messages, bring Congress around, and focus on where our most serious threat is, stop playing politics and get serious, China can be deterred. If not, ominous storm clouds will continue to gather.
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If Biden can remember, he learned from Obama himself that when you say don’t cross this red line, you can move the line as many times as you want. One thing every nation and person understands, is when you say something and back it up, you might actually mean what you say. The world has seen this pathetic administration and is not concerned about the U.S..
Since the administration has hidden in the curtains so-to-speak about the war attempt by the Ruskies to take over Ukraine, the Chinese are emboldened to make the same move in going after Taiwan. Naziism in Communistic form has taken over the big dogs in Asia. Communism is merely a form of governance that allows elected/appointed officials to RULE its own citizens and attempts to use that position to seize other Nations. That gets back to one of the biggest flaws in this Nation’s governance …. a lack of term limits for top government leader positions. It allows Bozos to develop and extend their ego to the point that they believe they are GOD!
Taiwan is not interested in a one China policy? In the last election where the issue was brought up that exact choice was VERY close to being enacted by the voting public.
Does one really believe that Taiwan would rather throw their lot behind a country that just destroyed, in a terrorist attack, the sole method of supplying most of Europe with natural gas just before winter? How about one that steals foreign monetary holdings?
A couple of days ago someone wisely said, “to be an enemy of the United States is dangerous but to be its friend is mortal”. “We” haven’t been the “good guys” in a LONG time.
Biden Must Deter China,
you’re kidding right?
China owns that disgraceful loon.
The entire Biden family has been owned by the CCP for decades, and a substantial part of our Congress is owned by them as well. Rest assured they will not lift a finger to stop their masters from doing anything they want.
Creepy Joe deter the Chinese? Good joke. He won’t do one thing to aggravate the Chinese since they own the entire Biden family. Besides, Joe only does what his handlers tell him to do. Joe couldn’t give you his street address. Just another Godless evil family like the Clintons.
Biden is a toothless paper tiger
and worse, a dumb one. my fear is he will bumble us into something somewhere
Joey, Mark Kelly, Finestine, and countless others are owned by China. They wouldn’t do anything to stop the money!
Joe and Hunter (and the Clintons and Turtle) are raking in money from the Red Chinese. Are they going to bite the hand that feeds them?
Laughable, Biden and the socialists PLAN is to DESTROY America. Wake up
Obviously the Biden administration will do nothing that you have suggested RBC. You may be perfectly correct in what you suggest the correct course of action should be, but virtually everything you have suggested runs completely counter to the policy direction team Biden is committed to carrying out.
China knows exactly what they have with a Biden administration or any Democrat administration in power at this point: A weak and largely ineffective adversary that will be slow to react to any move the CCP decides to make relative to Taiwan. China sees how team Biden continues to act towards both Putin and the Ayatollah of Iran, so they fully understand their adversary at this point. They have a clear field to do pretty much as they please between now and January 2025. Once President Xi is given his third term in October, I’m sure he will turn his full attention back towards claiming his Taiwan prize that he has coveted for years. Elections have consequences and the election of 2020 has had numerous downside consequences indeed.