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China and the US are in 'dire straits' over Taiwan

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Immediately after the announcement that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would visit Taiwan during her Asia tour, the complex relationship between China, Taiwan and the United States resurfaced. China warned the US that it would pay the price for this visit. Beijing and Moscow, which are allegedly bound by friendship with "no limits", responded similarly by describing Pelosi's visit as a provocation. Nevertheless, Pelosi was greeted enthusiastically by Taiwanese officials but not before Chinese Su-35 fighter jets crossed the straits, causing a great stir. Pelosi's subsequent meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen recalled the liberal remnants of post-Cold War American foreign policy discourse. The Speaker vowed to support democracy in the self-ruled island.

On the eve of the visit, some speculated that this move was the signal of a new Cold War. Others went to the extent of saying that such a step represented the opening salvo of another world war. Ultimately, such an interpretation is an exaggeration. Pelosi's Taiwan visit represents the apex of America's "testing the waters" that we have seen often from the Biden administration. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing warned the US to stop playing the "Taiwan card" to contain China. Claiming that such a visit has the potential to ignite a war is ludicrous, especially given the current military power gap between the two countries. However, in this regard, it is useful to underline three key points regarding how recent tensions in the Indo-Pacific region can be understood.

For a start, the traditional American foreign policy of strategic ambiguity since the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act is becoming unequivocally old-fashioned in today's multi-polar world. This policy should be evaluated in the very context of the........

© Middle East Monitor

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