The United States government announced this Friday that relax the intricate requirements your officials have to meet when contacting their counterparts in Taiwan, which represents a rapprochement to the island and, consequently, a new challenge to China amid the tensions between the two global powers.
The State Department spokesman, Ned Price, clarified that this does not imply that the North American country begins to officially recognize Taipei – it stopped doing so in 1979 – but that “the new guidelines facilitate contacts “with the island.
“The guidelines emphasize that Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important economic and security partner, and that it is also a positive force in the international community.“Added Ned Price.
The announcement comes at a time when Beijing has also increased tensions with Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory, especially through air and naval military maneuvers within or near its territory.
In fact, the Chinese Navy indicated on Tuesday that it will continue to carry out training maneuvers in waters near Taiwan “on a routine basis” and confirmed that the Liaoning aircraft carrier carried out such actions recently.
Likewise, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry announced that a total of 15 Chinese Army aircraft flew over its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday. And that same day Chinese drones were also detected near the disputed Pratas Islands.
China carried out a new air raid on Friday, the island’s defense ministry reported. Specifically, eleven Chinese air force aircraft flew over its air defense identification zone.
In this context, the island’s Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, assured that the country is “ready to defend itself” and that “there is no doubt that we will wage a war if we have to.”
“We are ready to raise our defense budget, to reorganize our Army or to try to reinforce our reserve forces,” Wu said at a press conference with international media. The official also assured that two of his main “allies”, “the United States or Japan, are closely following the situation.”
Two days later, the State Department announced the measure. And shortly before, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Joe Biden administration was indeed closely monitoring the rise in Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Strait, calling Beijing’s recent actions potentially destabilizing.
“We have seen a worrying increase in military activity by the People’s Republic of China in the Taiwan Strait, which we believe is potentially destabilizing. “he said, when asked if Washington was concerned about a possible Chinese invasion.
Along these lines, Admiral John Aquilino, nominated to be the next commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, assured that “China considers control of Taiwan as its first priority ”and that an eventual invasion is“ much closer than many think”.
The North American country has also expressed itself through recent actions in the area. Its military presence in the South China Sea increased on Wednesday when the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island and the amphibious transport ship USS San Diego sailed through the Straits of Malacca.
Sailors from the USS Makin Island also conducted “a live-fire training exercise,” the US Indo-Pacific Command tweeted Thursday, along with a hashtag calling for a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” .
Relations between Taipei and Beijing have cracked since the coming to power in 2016 of the current Taiwanese president, the pro-independence Tsai Ing-wen. They continued to increase considerably during the term of Donald Trump (2017-2021), who gave priority to strengthening relations with Taiwan – including arms sales – despite the fact that since 1979, relations between Washington and Taipei have been officially informal. And despite the significant change in the nature of government, foreign policy toward China has not fluctuated significantly.