US Sec. of Defense finally talks to China Sec. Defense
“China’s top military general tells Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that Taiwan is part of China and warns relations could crumble in rare phone call as Pentagon top brass prepares to meet Biden at the White House”
What could go wrong?
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a rare phone call with his Chinese counterpart who warned him that Taiwan is part of China – amid signals that Russia’s war on Ukraine is impacting how planners are viewing a potential conflict.
Taiwan is a part of China and no one can change that, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said on Wednesday during a rare phone call with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, according to a statement from Beijing.
‘If the Taiwan issue were not handled properly, it would have a damaging impact on Sino-U.S. relations,’ Wei added, according to statement published by the defense ministry.
Wei ‘expounded his solemn position on the Taiwan issue and stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. It is a fact and reality that no one can change,’ according to the Beijing readout.
The call comes as the U.S. has repeatedly urged China not to provide military support to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Moscow, in turn, has fired off a diplomatic letter to Washington urging the U.S. to stop arming Ukraine.
A Pentagon spokesman told DailyMail.com that Ausin requested the call ‘as a follow up to the March 18 call between President Biden and Xi Jinping, and March 14 meeting between NSA Jake Sullivan and PRC Politburo Member Yang Jiechi in Rome.’
‘The Secretary stressed that the United States remains committed to our one China policy, as enumerated in the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,’ according to the spokesman.
According to a readout by Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby, ‘Secretary Austin and General Wei discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations, regional security issues, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.’
First, a little historical review. The Qing Dynasty under the Chinese empire paid no attention to what in the West was known as the island of Formosa until late in the 18th century. When they did claim it they really didn’t do much with it having been exclusively a land power for centuries.
Following the the disastrous 1894-5 Sino Japanese war China ceded Formosa to Japan in perpetuity. Japan invested heavily in the island, modernized its agriculture and turned it into Japan’s bread basket.
After the surrender of Japan in 1945 Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in the Pacific, ordered Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to take possession of Formosa in the name of the victorious Allies. At this time Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang Party was the internationally recognized leader of the Chinese Nationalist forces fighting against Japan, even though the Nationalists and the Communists under Mao Zedong were as much at war with each other as with Japan.
When the Communist forces finally triumphed over the Nationalists in 1953 the Generalissimo and the Kuomintang government fled to Formosa where they set up shop as the Republic of China with the capital in Taipei, while Mao set up the People’s Republic of China with the capital in Beijing. The Republic of China was internationally recognized as an independent nation on Taiwan until the Communist Chinese carried out a very successful campaign to have it delegitimized. Today there are only a handful of nations that recognize the Republic of China diplomatically.
The People’s Republic of China’s claim to Taiwan is based more on bullying and bluster as it is on historical fact. The likelihood of China attempting a military takeover of Taiwan is small. The logistics of such an operation would be very difficult and even if it obtained its objective it would be a Pyrrhic victory as they would have conquered only rubble. It is much more likely that they would attempt a coup d’etat by covert means, as they did in the US in 2020.
China, having claimed everything from the Korean Peninsula to the Straits of Malacca as its national territorial waters and fortified several islands and reefs, is in no moral position to cry outrage when US naval and aviation elements exercise freedom on navigation exercises in what are legally international waters. The whole world knows that there would be little freedom of navigation anywhere in the world were it not for the US Navy. Many nations are secretly delighted when this is made clear, though they fear to say so for fear of China’s ham-fisted diplomatic and commercial retaliation.
Since Nixon opened China in 1973 the US has played along with China’s claims in exchange for cheap manufactured goods. In all probability the Brandon Administration will prove even weaker than previous Administrations in standing up to the CCP. Certainly China’s 50+ million dollar “investment” deals with Hunter Biden and the contents of his infamous laptop guarantee that the US will cave to Chinese demands. We can expect nothing good for the US to come from these talks, it will be a beatdown. The only consolation is that China is falling apart even faster than the Chinese proxies in Washington are taking America apart. A bitter comfort indeed.