The Biden administration this week brazenly announced its intention to walk over China’s red line warning on Taiwan. The move by the US is a recklessly provocative step that dares an inevitable military response from Beijing.
If that happens then all bets are off for a full-scale military confrontation between the United States, its allies, and China. It is not alarmist to say such a clash would escalate into World War III.
Australia and Britain are explicitly committed to a military alliance with the United States in the Asia-Pacific through the recently formed AUKUS pact. Russia will be obliged to defend China.
The date in question is December 9-10 when the Biden administration plays host to a so-called “Summit of Democracies”. This week the State Department announced a list of “participants” that include 110 countries. China and Russia are not invited, among other excluded nations.
Most provocatively, the separatist Chinese territory of Taiwan is invited to attend the video conference. The US is careful to refer to Taiwan as a “participant” not as a “nation”. Nevertheless, this semantical device aside, the invitation is a blatant violation of China’s sovereign claim of authority over Taiwan.
China’s claim to Taiwan as being a part of its integral territory is recognized by the United Nations and, at least in theory, by the United States with its One China Policy since 1979.
The island of Taiwan has existed as a self-governing territory since China’s civil war ended in 1949 with communist victory. The nationalist opponents fled to Taiwan. China retains the right to reunite Taiwan under governance from the mainland. Beijing has warned it will do so by military force if Taiwan ever declares independence.
Washington maintains a position of “strategic ambiguity” whereby it acknowledges a One China Policy while also simultaneously offering US commitments to help Taiwan with military defence.
Since Joe Biden took the White House in January, his administration has taken this ambiguity to dangerous levels. At one point, Biden has overstepped policy by explicitly stating the US would defend Taiwan in the event of a confrontation with China.