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The Editorial Analysis- Cooling the Temperatures

US-China Conflict over Taiwan- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

The Editorial Analysis- Cooling the Temperatures_40.1


US-China Conflict over Taiwan in News

  • The four-day military exercises conducted by China, in the waters and airspace surrounding Taiwan, concluded on August 7 without incident comes as a relief to the region.


US-China Conflict over Taiwan

  • Chinese Military Exercise: The drills saw the Chinese military not only cross the median of the Taiwan Strait but fire conventional missiles above Taiwan, aggressive acts that could have easily led to unintended escalation.
  • Taiwan’s Response: That they did not lead to any incidents is credit to the sober response from Taiwan’s military.
    • Taiwan said it monitored China’s exercises, some of which were held within 12 nautical miles of Taiwan, but chose to neither engage Chinese aircraft and warships, nor shoot down missiles.
  • Chinese Justification: China’s justification is that they were a needed response to draw a red line after what Beijing has seen as needless American provocation that triggered this entire crisis.
    • Recent visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the first such high-level engagement in 25 years, was in China’s view further evidence of Washington “hollowing out” its commitment to a One China Policy.


US-China Conflict over Taiwan- Expected Impact

It is difficult to see what all three parties – the U.S., Taiwan and China – will ultimately gain from a visit.

  • For USA: The recent visits appears to have been driven more by Ms. Pelosi’s political inclinations than any well-considered long-term strategic objectives.
    • Even U.S. President Joe Biden and the U.S. military had cautioned against a trip that brings no lasting strategic benefits for Washington.
  • For Taiwan: For Taiwan’s 23 million people and for President Tsai Ing-wen, the rare high-profile foreign visit was no doubt welcome in the face of increasing global isolation on account of China’s pressure.
    • That short-term benefit may, however, be offset by the fact that Ms. Pelosi has arguably left Taiwan with a far worse strategic environment.
  • For China: China’s military has indicated its actions have now heralded a new normal in military activity across the Taiwan Strait, bringing it ever closer to Taiwan’s shores.
    • In response to Ms. Pelosi’s visit, Beijing last week said it will cut off military channels with Washington by cancelling three key dialogue mechanisms, that too at a time of heightened military tensions.


Way Forward

  • The focus must now turn to cooling the temperatures. Doing so will be easier said than done with the low levels of trust between the world’s two biggest powers.
  • War, it is said, is too important to be left to the generals. The same may be said of relations between nations: they should not be hostage to personal ambitions of politicians.


China-Taiwan Conflict

China-Taiwan Conflict

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