The Senate’s version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will include $10 billion in military aid for Taiwan, *Defense News* reported on Monday. The $10 billion would be given to Taiwan over five years in the form of Foreign Military Financing (FMF), a State Department program that gives foreign governments money to purchase US weapons. However, Taiwan will be able to use $300 million of the FMF each year to purchase military equipment from its own industrial base, a privilege only currently enjoyed by Israel. Other FMF recipients need waivers to use the funds to purchase arms that don’t come from the US. The $10 billion is a massive increase from the $4.5 billion initially proposed by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in a piece of legislation known as the Taiwan Policy Act.
On September 14, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022. For the past half-century the US policy towards China is the One China Policy whereby the US recognizes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the only legitimate government of China, and that Taiwan is part of China. If enacted as law, the landmark act would mark a radical shift away from the US One China policy that forms the bedrock of relations with Beijing since the 1980s. It will also upset the post WWII order set up by the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations that returned Taiwan to China, irrespective of the form of government of China. The US will, by this law, stick out as the only major country of the world that recognizes Taiwan as a nation independent of the People’s Republic of China.
On Sunday 18 September, US President Joe Biden told the US news programme 60 Minutes that the US military would go to war in Taiwan should Chinese forces land on the island chain to enforce its sovereignty. While China has never ruled out the last-resort use of military force, it has always insisted on its preference for peaceful reunification. Biden’s most recent comments repeat previous statements, including one made in Japan, Taiwan’s former colonial occupying power, in May. They are, however, the first since US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s journey to Taipei in August which resulted in China holding major military exercises after her visit. Pelosi’s meeting with the political leadership of Taiwan certainly enraged China and inflamed tension in the area. This was no diplomatic faux pas; it was the whole point of her trip.
The recent visit of the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan has sharply increased the prospect of war in the region. The Chinese government and people strongly believe Taiwan to be their territory; and the no. 3 official in the US government visiting Taiwan is a clear provocation. Taiwan was invaded by Dutch colonists in 1624, only to be repulsed in 1662 by the Chinese national hero Zheng Chenggong. Taiwan became a full province in Qing Dynasty China in 1885. Ten years later the then Qing government lost Taiwan in a war with imperialist Japan. The Japanese were sold weapons by the United States with which to do this.
Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that the US is trying to start a war with China over Taiwan. He also explained how imperialism is rooted in capitalism and detailed its economic exploitation of the Global South. It’s quite obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between capitalism and communism. Once communism was defeated, then capitalism could expand and show its true self. It’s no longer constrained by the need to be nice, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system as opposed to the centrally planned system. So because of that, nowadays there is nothing to restrain capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes.
Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday in the first such US operation since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taipei at the beginning of August. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville made the passage through the Strait. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) slammed the provocation and said it tracked the US warships as they made the transit. “The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command warned the US vessels and monitored their entire passage. We are fully aware of their activities. Troops of the theatre command remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation,” said PLA spokesman Col. Shi Yi.
Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan to try to start a proxy war with China helped remind a lot of Americans that our “leaders” do not have our best interests at heart and, in fact, willfully push us all toward nuclear Armageddon. Of course, this is just the latest moment when the U.S. empire has nearly caused a doomsday scenario. Here are some of the other greatest hits over the past 70 years. One night in 1961, the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on North Carolina! A B-52 crashed in the middle of the night in Faro, North Carolina, but it was more than just a downed aircraft. As National Geographic magazine reported, “…somewhere out there in the winter darkness lay… the remains of two 3.8-megaton thermonuclear atomic bombs.
Most articles briefly explained that China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and then moved on without any further explanation. Some added that Taiwan will “be annexed by force if necessary,” that China opposes visits by foreign governments and/or that China considers relations with Taiwan as an internal matter of sovereignty. Certain articles also briefly and selectively quoted Chinese officials to bolster the above points. Meanwhile, many articles uncritically included claims that Taiwan is a sovereign country. When discussing China’s response to Pelosi’s visit, an Associated Press (AP) article published at the CBC wrote simply that “Taiwan decried the actions, saying they violate the island’s sovereignty.”
Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 24 September 2022, 11am (US Eastern) / 8am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain) / 11pm (China). This event will address the rising aggression of the US and its allies in the Pacific region. We will discuss the Biden administration’s increased support for Taiwanese separatism; Western power projection in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits; the hysteria surrounding China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands; the AUKUS nuclear pact; developments in Korea and Japan; and more.
Much of the world held its breath as Nancy Pelosi circled around the Philippines to sneak into Taiwan late in the evening on August 2nd, 2022. The fear was that Pelosi’s trip would initiate a broader war between China and the United States. Taiwan is China’s “red line.” This was no secret to Pelosi or the Biden administration. China had sent numerous warnings from a variety of channels in the days leading up the trip. While Pelosi entered and left Taiwan unscathed, her stunt placed already fragile U.S.-China relations in their worst condition yet. As expected, China took decisive measures in response to the U.S.’s latest and perhaps most provocative violation of the One-China policy to date. The People’s Liberation Army conducted three days of military exercises surrounding Taiwan island beginning August 4th, 2022.
Less than 100 days before the world’s leaders meet in Egypt to tackle the climate crisis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s incendiary trip to Taiwan leaves climate cooperation between the U.S. and China in tatters. It was only last year, in 2021, that U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua issued a joint statement to strengthen the Paris Agreement by adopting “long-term strategies aimed at net zero GHG emissions” to keep the world’s temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, with the goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Such collaboration is urgently needed if the world is to thwart rising sea levels, drought, famine and extreme weather — flash floods to suffocating heat waves — because China and the United States are the world’s largest carbon emitters, responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gasses baking the earth.
Nancy Pelosi is a member of the United States Congress. She isn’t just any member either, she is Speaker of the House of Representatives, an important leadership position in U.S. politics. She is also third in line to the presidency. If something should happen to the President and Vice President she would lead the Executive Branch of government. Her position makes her statement about digging a hole to China all the more disgraceful. It is an old trope which gives expression to China’s perceived otherness, that it isn’t just far away, it is actually the very opposite of how Americans see themselves in all their racist and exceptionalist glory. It wasn’t bad enough that Pelosi visited Taiwan in direct contradiction to what the Chinese government asked.
As the US legislative leader Nancy Pelosi swept into Taipei, people around the world held their breath. Her visit was an act of provocation. In December 1978, the US government – following a United Nations General Assembly decision in 1971 – recognised the People’s Republic of China, setting aside its previous treaty obligations to Taiwan. Despite this, US President Jimmy Carter signed the Taiwan Relations Act (1979), which allowed US officials to maintain intimate contact with Taiwan, including through the sale of weapons. This decision is noteworthy as Taiwan was under martial law from 1949 to 1987, requiring a regular weapons supplier. Pelosi’s journey to Taipei was part of the US’s ongoing provocation of China. This campaign includes former President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’, former President Donald Trump’s ‘trade war’, the creation of security partnerships, the Quad and AUKUS, and the gradual transformation of NATO into an instrument against China.
The island of Taiwan is part of China. One-China means exactly what it says: that there is only one country called China, including Taiwan. It is a principle agreed upon by the UN and 181 countries in the world, including the USA, UK, Europe, Japan and Australia. Only fourteen countries have given Taiwan diplomatic recognition – down from fifteen after the Solomon Islands established closer ties with China this year. After Japan was defeated in WW2, all Chinese territory it had occupied was returned to China under treaties signed by the victorious Allied powers. It is these treaties the US is seeking to tear up. So the visit to Taiwan, a renegade province of China, by Nancy Pelosi – Speaker of the US Congress, and a hugely influential politician, third in line to the presidency after Vice-President Kamala Harris – was designed to provoke.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby condemned Chinese military drills in the area and said the Pentagon had ordered the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and her escorts to remain near Taiwan to “monitor the situation.” The USS Reagan and her accompanying ships are based in Japan and were deployed to the East China Sea in recent days, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to Taipei against Chinese objections. China has responded to Pelosi’s visit by launching extensive drills around Taiwan and firing a dozen missiles across the island. According to Kirby, amid heightened tensions, U.S. President Joe Biden decided it would be “prudent” to order the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group to stay in the area “for a little bit longer than they were originally planned.”