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40-year Anniversary of Taiwan Relations Act Adopted by USA

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The global rivalry between the two world powers (the USA and the PRC) is multi-faceted in nature. But recently, it has manifested itself especially acutely and most noticeably in the sphere of bilateral trade.

The frenzy created by global media outlets about this subject within the context of the Sino–US relations is understandable, as the state of world economy will, to a great extent, depend on the direction the trade war between the United States and China will take.

Far less attention is focused on other spheres of the US–Chinese relationship, but equally dramatic developments are happening within them too. And these have the potential of having a profound effect on the nature of not onlythe bilateral ties but also on the situation world-wide.

Unquestionably, the “Taiwan issue”, whose various aspects have been discussed in the New Eastern Outlook on a fairly regular basis, can certainly become that influential. The last time we wrote about it was in the article describing the foreign tour, embarked on by the Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, to a number of Pacific Ocean nations at the end of March of this year.

At the time, the upcoming anniversary on 10 April 2019, which marked 40 years since the United States adopted the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA-1979), was to signal yet another turn for the worse in the Sino–US relations. Both Washington and Taipei undoubtedly intended to use this date to stage some events, meant to illustrate the strength of the current bilateral relations between the two nations and their willingness to continue developing these ties. But it was still unclear what shape these events would take.

We would like to reiterate that TRA-1979 is not recognized by the PRC as an international Act. Instead China views it as a document for internal use in the USA that is not worth giving due consideration to. After all, for Beijing Taiwan’s status is not controversial. The island is an integral part of “one-China”, which means that any laws enacted by other nations in relation to Taiwan are not legally binding.

Notably, TRA-1979 was adopted three months after Washington had established diplomatic ties with the PRC (simultaneously severing such relations with Taiwan). At the time, the United States had to acknowledge the “one-China” policy and the fact that Chinese people live on either side of the Taiwan Strait. Still, for Washington TRA-1979 remains a vital document, which the United States uses to formulate its strategy on relations with Taiwan, and also, to a great extent, with China........

© New Eastern Outlook