The Taiwan Game

The Taiwan Game

by Shania Dedigama 4-1-2023 | 1:23 PM

2023 holds news prospects for Geo-politics in Asia, with a particular focus on escalating tensions between Taiwan and China. In 1949, with Chairman Mao Zedong’s communist revolution sweeping across China, the former Government of the Republic of China headed by Chiang Kai Chek fled to Taiwan. This prolonged China’s disastrous entanglement with Taiwan. Sino-Taiwanese Geo-politics closely mimics Putin’s obsession with re-annexing Ukraine, with the expectation of re-drawing Russia’s territorial lines along the former Soviet Union. Taiwan is a primary democracy located at the center of Asian diplomacy and protecting Taiwanese sovereignty is of cardinal importance to western democracies who have vested interests in democracies in opposing blocs to China. For approximately 70 years, China has pushed their desire to invade Taiwan to the very tail-end of their foreign policy priorities. Since of late however, Xi’s interest in acquiring the Asian island has peaked, and so has the interest of American foreign policy makers.

Invasion and territorial annexation has stained and left behind a rather metallic aftertaste on the international community and therefore, deflecting or rather delaying another impending land grab by a regional hegemon is of paramount importance. US foreign policy in the coming years will be fending off an impending invasion by simmering hostilities between Taipei and Beijing. An intense understanding of the nuances of Beijing’s administration and its foreign policy objectives is pivotal in the drafting of US foreign policy in far east Asia. Not unlike Putin, Beijing’s ‘emperor’ has managed a power acquisition far greater than his predecessors and is dispositioned to strike back when pushed into a corner. Many policy-makers fear that Moscow's recent invasion of Ukraine will empower Beijing to take similar steps. However strategic military analysts have concluded that the Chinese goverment would not be influenced by the actions of the Kremlin, but that they would examine the failures of Russia in their quest to annex Ukraine and adapt accordingly, to avoid making the same mistakes.

US involvement in Taiwan is not confined to military aid and defense, but the US government since 1979 (under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act) is committed to preserve the economic stability and commercial activity of the island. The deterrence of a Geo-Political conflict in east Asia was made easier whilst the US maintained a large margin economically and militarily over the Chinese republic, but as the Chinese military and economy continuously advanced, keeping Chinese imperialist tendencies at bay became even more trying.

The success of foreign policy in far-east Asia, is not finding a solution between China and Taiwan but it is fending off another preventing another inter-state conflict with the potential to turn global. Xi is adamant to pursue the unification of Taiwan with China however, for decades the Chinese government has delayed a potential invasion after consideration of the cost of war and the acknowledgement that a war waged against Taipei would undoubtedly mean a war waged against Washington.