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Asia-Pacific Region Lining Up Against China on Taiwan

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Taiwan

“The conquerors are kings, the defeated are bandits,” one ancient Chinese proverb teaches. For most of recorded history, China has been the conqueror in Southeast Asia, with the notable exceptions of colonial rule in the 19th and 20th centuries and the Japanese invasion in World War II. But following Xi Jinping’s acts of aggression toward Taiwan in recent weeks, China may soon become the “bandit” of Asia, as the rest of the world unifies against the Chinese threat.

Ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Taiwan earlier this month, China had warned the United States that its military “would not sit idly by” should Pelosi follow through with the trip. Making good on that promise, the Chinese military launched nearly a dozen ballistic missiles into the waters around Taiwan following the visit – including five that landed in Japanese waters, and a few that flew directly over the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. Following the missile barrage, the Chinese navy remained active off Taiwan’s east and west coasts in an attempt to re-assert China’s claim to the island, which has been self-governing since 1950.

At the same time, Chinese diplomats overseas hewed to the Chinese Communist Party line, decrying Pelosi’s visit as a violation of Chinese sovereignty. When Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, was asked whether the 23 million Taiwanese should determine their own mode of government, Qian responded that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens would decide.

Mr. Xiao also rejected the recent Taiwan Foundation for Democracy polls that indicated 72 percent of Taiwanese were ready to take a stand against coerced unification with China and 62 percent were ready to fight. In a similar poll, National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center revealed that 85.6 percent of Taiwanese rejected the “one country two systems concept” favored by the CCP.

But through its repeated acts of aggression – not just toward Taiwan but every Southeast Asian nation – China is pushing its neighbors closer to the United States and the West, creating a budding alliance that it may soon be unable to overcome.

The unified and decisive response of these countries in the Indo-Pacific region to China’s military exercises in the Taiwan Strait was anger, not fear. Many nations undoubtedly see in China’s bullying of Taiwan the CCP’s treatment of their own country.

In 2021, for instance, the Chinese air force violated Malaysia’s airspace in the eastern part of the country, leading to Malaysia summoning its ambassador from Beijing. In February of this year, a Chinese naval vessel aimed a military-grade laser at an Australian P8 Poseidon aircraft while sailing through Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, potentially risking the lives of up to 10 Australian military personnel. In June, over international waters, a Chinese jet flew near another Australian air force surveillance plane, releasing “small pieces of aluminum” into the air, posing a safety threat to the crew. Just a few days later, Chinese jets harassed Canadian air force pilots policing North Korean airspace to prevent violation of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Japan has also been on the receiving end of Chinese aggression, including the Chinese ballistic missiles that fell into Japanese waters on August 4. According to Japanese media outlets, China’s ambassador in Tokyo did not apologize to Japan for violating their territory, even as fears mount within the country that China could attempt to annex Japan’s Ryukyu islands, which host a U.S. military base on Okinawa.

Together, the “Quad” nations of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States are hardening their resistance to China, and other countries in the region are taking note. The Philippines and Singapore recently issued their own statements of solidarity with Taiwan, and other Asian leaders have expressed their concern about Chinese actions in the region.

During a recent meeting of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly stormed out of the Gala Dinner after nearly all members, short of Russia, upheld the need to respect the United Nations Convention for Law of the Seas in a clear snub at China’s behavior in the South China Sea. None of the ASEAN countries changed their commitment to the “One China” policy that upheld the 1955 demarcation line, which Beijing has challenged with its latest military drills.

In many ways, this growing solidarity with Taiwan is the realization of the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vision for a “Free and Open Indo Pacific,” which he laid out in his Confluence of the Two Seas speech in August 2007. A key pillar of Abe’s vision for a “broader Asia” was a free and independent Taiwan, something he emphasized throughout the latter years of his life. To Abe, the Taiwan conflict was a Japanese conflict, and by extension a U.S. and Australian conflict. Every nation involved in the Indo-Pacific had an interest in ensuring Taiwan’s independence.

That attitude of strategic solidarity may well prove to be, as Abe predicted, a deterrent to Chinese direct military intervention in Taiwan. By forcing the rest of the world to recognize that preserving Taiwan’s autonomy is necessary to preserving the global political and economic order, China may have sowed the seeds of its own defeat.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Landon Grimes
9 months ago

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Kale Padilla
10 months ago

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Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

China and Russia are aggressors with no excuse except appearing to be aggressive to them is a sign, an image, they want to project. I hope they always fail. The late great Abe was right.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

Amazed that the Dems. get it. The CC must Lear that we will not be intimidated by their antics. (And thanks for showing us your strategy with your latest temper tantrum off the Taiwanese coasts.!)

I fully support Pelosis’ recent visit and the pending visit by the House delegation.

What we now need is a plan to build three more carriers to place in the Pacific along with the escort ships and subs. One group in the North Pacific, one in the south and one in reserve for rotation. And let’s work with the Philippine government to establish a joint US base on one of their islands.

XI’s actions now are purely political posturing. He is up for re-election this fall. He needs to demonstrate leadership to the CCP to assure he stays in office. With a faltering economy he needs to do some chest thumping.

The CCP antics off Taiwan also takes the world’s eyes off their miserable human rights activities.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

Since OUR COMMUNIST loving Democratic Leadership officially proclaimed their Communist leanings, America is NOW OPENLY being attacked from within! . . . No longer than just being suspected, Biden is “OPENLY” trying to convert America from Capitalism to “Socialism” though it’s REALLY COMMUNISM! . . . I’m really afraid that our country is again headed for a Civil War! . . . They OPENLY LIE calling their new law the “Inflation Reduction Act” when it WILL ACTUALLY INCREASE INFLATION! . . . Then, increasing the IRS with 87,000 new agents ONLY MEANS that middle class American Citizens will be targeted AND HAVING THEIR TAXES INCREASED! . . . This will ONLY actually increase Government control over the populace and limit our freedoms and individual rights! . . . We MUST NOT ALLOW this to Happen!

JEFFREY JONES
JEFFREY JONES
1 year ago

NUKE CHINA UNTIL IT GLOWS IN THE DARK!

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

It’s heartening to know that the rest of the world is hardening to China’s aggressivity, good morning Rip van Winkle

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 year ago

If you like the CCP, then go to Wal-Mart. Kyle L.

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

Can’t really blame them, just planning ahead…

Dennis M Struk
Dennis M Struk
1 year ago

China thinks they are the “Boss of the World”… Guess what..?>

Steven
Steven
1 year ago

a “Free and Open Indo Pacific,”. Would that be a great goal.  

mark
mark
1 year ago

Just like with Russia when China is ready they will move and there is nothing that can be done to stop it,, the only good thing is maybe there wont be a much death and destruction ,,, hopefully not as much as the DemocRats have brought on this country and will continue to do so ,,

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

China, like Russia, will take everything they can get their hands on. The difference is that Russia’s economy is small but China’s rivals ours and with an incompetent boob in charge, ours will soon be smaller!

nate
nate
1 year ago

The Chicomms are much more powerful than in years past due to the traitors that reside here in the USA. From our politicians, to past politicians turned lobbyists, to corporations looking to cash in, to Wall Street. Thank them Benedict Arnolds for the new Asian threat.

Barrett Smith
Barrett Smith
1 year ago

My fear is the response will be too little, too late.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
1 year ago

You damn betcha’, they don’t want to be next.

Hal
Hal
1 year ago

I wonder if China’s growing population will eventually not be supported by their economic performance. And when it does, war is one option (but not against the Ruskies). Some years back China put a limit on how many children a couple could have …. in order to stem the population growth which was reaching a level which could not be supported by National resources including food. Another way to do this is to start a war against wealthy other Nations that would kilTl off a large percentage of the citizen population and thereby make more available to a surviving. If China ever has a head leader like Ruskie POOTIN’, it will get pretty nasty in terms of worldwide security.

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

The much smaller country of japan came very close to winning the pacific nations as its colonies in ww2. If we hadnt decoded their top secret comms we likely would’ve lost the naval war. Then, no island hopping etc. If china decides on a similar policy, it seems clear they would succeed, but that would be a severe blow to their economy. The question then becomes whether china prefers the present course of intimidating weak western leaders and continuing getting rich, or taking nearby countries for their resources. Im betting the sabre rattling is for internal propaganda purposes. You know; the nationalism that supposedly fades away under marxism.

Susan Miller
Susan Miller
1 year ago

It explains Pelosi and other Democrats visits to Taiwan just ahead of this election. Stir up China and get people focused away from the cheating.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

China wants the very Islands we fought over in WW2: Soloman Islands chain

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