Original title: headlines, beauty and red line again! The next "tipping point" in China and the US has become clearer.
The United States sent two warships across the Taiwan Strait on the same day, the US Navy and the Defense Department of Taiwan authorities said Tuesday, Reuters reported. In July this year, the US Navy carried out a similar mission.
At present, Sino-US relations are in tension, and public concern has increasingly pointed to speculation that the Taiwan issue will become the next "tipping point" in Sino-US relations. No one wants to see this moment coming, but it is clear that warships crossing the Taiwan Strait could become some sort of "fuse" existence. Why should the US continue to "fight" around Taiwan?
Zuo Xiying, a researcher at the National Development Institute of Renmin University of China, told Reuters. com that the United States has two aspects to consider. The first is based on the Trump administration's reassessment of Taiwan policy. The second is the current background of Sino-US trade frictions.
"After the Trump administration came to power, it reassessed its Taiwan policy. The general conclusion is that the strength contrast between the two sides has been seriously imbalanced. The United States must adjust its Taiwan policy strategically. Therefore, from the beginning of Trump's election to a telephone call with Tsai Ying-wen, to the subsequent US arms sales to Taiwan, and then to the substantive promotion of high-level exchanges between the United States and Taiwan through the "Taiwan Travel Law", a basic logic behind a series of events is that the United States began to adjust the trilateral relations between Beijing, Washington and Taipei in a macro-strategy. We should defend Taiwan in military and political terms and put pressure on the mainland. "
Zuo Xiying continued to point out that the United States provoked the mainland of China through various means, such as naval vessels crossing the Taiwan Strait and the docking of naval scientific research vessels in Taiwan, repeatedly playing the "Taiwan card", reflecting the pressure exerted on China by the linkage issue and the overall turning of the U.S. policy toward China.
Public opinion has noted that since May 2016, the continued deterioration of cross-strait relations has been caused by Taiwan's leader Cai Ying-wen's refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus. So far, Taiwan authorities have been following the steps of Washington. But there are also reports that the United States is trying to explain to Beijing that its one-China policy has not changed, even though it is considering sending another warship across the Taiwan Strait. U.S. Defense Secretary Matisse personally conveyed this message last week when he met with China's defense minister in Singapore. Earlier this month, Vice President Burns also said the United States would continue to adhere to the one-China policy of recognizing Taiwan as part of Chinese territory.
Is it not self-contradictory for the United States to repeatedly play the "Taiwan card" and repeatedly emphasize its adherence to existing policies?
Zuo Xiying said that the current US policy toward Taiwan consists of four parts: the first is the three joint communiques signed with the mainland of China, that is, upholding the one-China principle. The second is the Taiwan Relations Act, which stipulates that it is a matter of grave concern to the United States to decide Taiwan's future in a non-peaceful manner and to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons in order to ensure Taiwan's security. The third is the "six guarantees" for Taiwan, including the promise not to set a deadline for the termination of arms sales to Taiwan, not to amend the "Taiwan Relations Law" and so on. The fourth is the Taiwan travel act, which has just passed this year, allowing high-level exchanges between Taiwan and the United States.
"The four parts are the whole picture of the US policy toward Taiwan. Therefore, the US side has stated that the one China policy has not changed, and more is the United States reiterating its consistent policy. In other words, the consistent practice of the United States on the Taiwan issue is not only to recognize one China, but also to refrain from compromising in real actions such as commitments to Taiwan and arms sales to Taiwan. Zuo Xiying said.
The situation on both sides of the Straits has already been preceded by the escalation of tension in the United States. In the 1990s, US President Bill Clinton dispatched two aircraft carriers to the western Pacific Ocean when another conflict broke out between Taiwan and the mainland. In recent years, the "Taiwan Travel Act" and "FY2019 Defense Authorization Act" passed by the U.S. Congress once again reflect Washington's intentions. The first document allows senior officials of the US and Taiwan authorities to visit each other, and the second allows military cooperation with Taiwan.
Zuo Xiying pointed out that the Trump administration's incentive to play the "Taiwan card" by strengthening its commitment to Taiwan and arms sales to Taiwan has become stronger and stronger. The United States has taken the Taiwan issue as a very serious and important "card" to play. In the future, the situation in the Taiwan Strait will gradually escalate, and the intensity of the strategic game between China and the United States will correspondingly increase. Taiwan is likely to become the next "trigger point" for Sino US relations.
In the United States'view, the "Taiwan card" has two functions: one is tactical in order to force China to concede in the trade war; the other is strategic, that is, to assist the Taiwan authorities militarily and politically in putting pressure on Beijing to shape the so-called "more balanced" regional situation.
"China should, on the one hand, declare its position and lay a clear bottom line for the United States; on the other hand, it should continue its struggle. It is more sensible for China to play a dynamic game with the United States in a rational way than to deal with emotionally and to intensify contradictions. Zuo Xiying said.
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