“Love Thy Neighbour” doesn’t seem to be applicable in the matters of the countries and politics. After the great U.S. withdrew its support from Afghanistan, the world was dumb-struck. As the entire planet began to anticipate a new controversy, the detection of strong U.S. troops fell into the right time and place. 1979 was the year when Washington tied diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan has governed itself independently and in separation from China since the year 1949. Regardless, Beijing still considers the island as an inseparable part of its humongous territory. Beijing has firmly vowed to strongly “unify” Taiwan with the Mainland, completely ignoring Taiwan’s free will. Beijing supposedly won’t take a step back even if force is required. The worrisome atmosphere created by these circumstances is palpable. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has reprimanded Beijing’s efforts to undermine democracy and rightly so because the President-led party believes in independence. All of this has rummaged through the political and military pressure on Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The President of Taiwan stated, “do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life.

There is fear in the air that the war that lingers between the United States and China might eventually explode over Taiwan. Taiwan is, in fact, provided with all the required ammunition and defensive weapons by the United States. It might not come as a surprise to know that over two dozen U.S. special forces soldiers and an unspecified number of marines are currently training the Taiwanese forces. The Trump administration first sent the trainers to Taiwan, but surprisingly, their presence had not been reported to date. It was under U.S. President Donald Trump that the United States intensified deep-rooted ties with Taiwan over the matters of Chinese demurrals. The U.S. sold a whopping USD 18 billion worth of ammunition to the military and revealed a USD 250 million complex for its “de facto” embassy in the capital of Taiwan. Trump and Tsai had indulged in a telephonic conversation ahead of the embassy’s inauguration. This, in fact, was the highest level of contact between the two sides since 1979. The U.S. President Donald Trump sent several senior administration officials which included a cabinet member, to Taipei. During Trump’s last days in office, the long-held restrictions governing where and how U.S. officials can meet with Taiwanese members vanished.

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Similar administration appears to be undertaken by Joe Biden, who sent an official delegation of former U.S. officials to visit Tsai in Taipei. Not many are aware that U.S. President Joe Biden is the first U.S. President who invited Taiwanese representatives to attend the presidential inauguration. Beijing prerogatives Taiwan to be a part of “One China.” Beijing also asserts that Taiwan is attached to it by an agreement which is known as the 1992 consensus. This agreement took place between representatives of the Chinese Communist Party CCP and the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which had then ruled Taiwan. Nevertheless, neither side agreed upon the consensus, and it cannot be taken into consideration to discuss the legal status of Taiwan. China’s enduring proposal for Taiwan is that it essentially be included in the Mainland under the domain of “One country, two systems.” Apparently, this stands to be the same system used for Hong Kong, about which China was initially self-assured of the ability to preserve its systems and ironically provided a higher degree of autonomy. This circumstance is solid evidence for Tsai to completely reject the proposed framework.

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U.S. analysts have reckoned that China’s spiking military abilities and the decline in cross-strait relations can ignite a hardened conflict. This conflict is concerned with the aspects of confrontation which can eventually take place between the U.S. and China. Both the parties seem to be keeping their ground as firm as possible because neither China nor the U.S. is willing to bow down. China’s stubborn consideration about using force to achieve Taiwan and the U.S. being stern about defending Taiwan if attacks occur is a significant conflict that persists. An Indo Pacific top U.S. military commander has warned at great length about China’s move to invade Taiwan, which can most probably be implemented within the next decade. China’s burning desire to unify itself with Taiwan can be harmlessly considered to be the “Chinese dream.” Taiwan is, up to a point, quite helpless without any external help or support. With the help of its implicit strategies is managing to harbor a balance between lending support to Taiwan and preventing the possible war. Taiwan is rightfully encouraged by the U.S. to level up its defensive game and regularly sails in the Taiwan Strait to lay an example of the presence of military defense in the specific region. China’s simple and main objective is to hammer Taiwan and its people to believe that unification with the Mainland is the best possible option that exists for them. China has upped its patrols in the same domain consisting of PLA bombers and different forces such as fighter jets and, surprisingly, robust surveillance aircraft worldwide. Taiwan strait reeks with China’s warships and aircraft carriers as a demonstration of power and force. Apart from that, Taiwan poorly had to face numerous cyber-attacks that targeted the government.

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China is going to great lengths to fulfill its canny dream. China even restricted growing tourism to Taiwan, which led to a drastic fall in tourism from 4 million in 2015 to as low as 2.7 million in the year 2019. China is nothing less than an epitome of stubbornness which has asked different global corporations such as airlines and hotels to put Taiwan under the list of Chinese provinces. Taiwan has a budding and young democracy. China doesn’t seem to halt its interference in Taiwan’s independence anytime soon. China hasn’t stopped here and gone ahead to spread wrong information via social media and has a sort of control over Taiwan’s media. Regardless, Taiwan seems to be standing head fast even in the face of every twisted turn that China balls in the game.

by Harshita Kirnalli

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