EDITORIAL: Taiwan’s warm weather friend – Washington Times


Taiwan is a mouse stuck between the claws of a feline. The cat is China, of course. Content, for now, to play with its terrified prey, the animal instinct to kill and consume is not likely to stay at bay for long. That’s unless the lurking presence of a more muscular challenger gives the executioner a fright of his own. The United States has played this intimidating role for decades, but a look at crippled President Biden tells the attacker there is no longer any reason to be afraid. He could prove to be Taiwan’s best friend in good weather.

Last summer, Mr. Biden won a loser tag with his hasty surrender in Afghanistan, which left the Taliban foes in charge and hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines. In just two months, China responded to the US withdrawal with vigorous military muscle-building that portends growing uncertainty over Taiwan’s pursuit of independence.

China’s recent recognition of the launch of two nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles signaled an unstoppable ability to annihilate any target on earth at any time. The missiles formed a shot through the US bow, alerting the Pentagon that US Navy ships plying Pacific waters supporting China’s breakaway island province are sitting ducks.

It is a sad situation when a nation considered “the world’s only superpower” is to hear White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki say that the president “welcomes the fierce competition” from China in the race for power. military space supremacy. Americans and Taiwanese might have thought she was referring to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. Alas, it was not – China is not playing.

All of this preceded a CNN report last month in which Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen admitted that US troops are currently being deployed to help the Taiwan Defense Force improve their defenses. The news prompted the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times to issue a dazzling response, “The more these people collude with outside forces, the faster the mainland’s punishment will come.” As the island’s secessionist forces seek support and protection, they are also pushing the mainland to decide to resolve the Taiwan issue by force.

These are intimidating words that likely would have gone unwritten if Beijing had received pro-democracy vibes from a US president. Mr Biden’s spectacle tottering at the outer edge of the G20 leaders’ photoshoot stage serves as a fitting, albeit unfortunate, symbol of the US’s weakening grip on world leadership. This could only validate Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the rally in Rome and the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.

After triggering a pandemic that killed 5 million people without repercussions, China now has Taiwan trapped in its clutches and no one to challenge its reabsorption of the island. Until a bold American leader reappears from the 2024 presidential election, desperate Taiwan will have to rely on President Biden as a friend of the good weather.

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