Is the world heading for a war in Taiwan? Why the West will make the real difference.

Is the world heading for a war in Taiwan? Why the West will make the real difference.

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Are we heading for a war in Taiwan? The simple answer is yes. But the world cannot afford a war in Taiwan which could expand to a global war, or at least a global crisis never seen before. And so the answer is no, there will not be a war in Taiwan. But the question is, can we prevent a war in Taiwan? So last week I made a video about why Taiwan is the missing piece of the puzzle, that China needs to reunify it and rejuvenate the whole China. Now, in this part part two, I'm going to talk more about what could lead potentially to a war and what has happened since 1972. But first, maybe a recap of last week.

I mean, is China. Or is Taiwan the Taiwanese island? Has it ever been part of China? The simple answer is, before 1895, it was part of the Qing Dynasty. After that it was part of the Japanese until 1945. And then the Republic of China, which was established in 1912, fled to Taiwan Island in 1945, 1949, after they lost the war with the Communist, the Civil War with the Communist. The People's Republic of China was then established in the mainland.

And in Taiwan, we had the Republic of China. And the reason there's one China and not two, China's want or one China want Taiwan is because both the mainland claimed that Taiwan was part of the Greater China, as well as Taiwan for a long time until the eighties, thought that they were going to recapture the whole mainland with probably the help of the US. And so this is the short story we've done, seen in the last video that I made that the first communique by Richard Nixon that was signed was really to improve the relationship between China and the US.

And this was all about confirming that there's only one China and that Taiwan is part of China, and that this question between Taiwan and the mainland will be settled by the Chinese or between the Chinese themselves. And it should be peaceful, but on top of it that the US will not keep sending or actually withdraw its forces from Taiwan so that the peace can be established. This was because of the problems of communism that China that the US had in the region with the Vietnam War, with the Soviet Union, also with the Chinese, of course, Communist Party that was becoming bigger and more important. And so this was an agreement. And in exchange for that agreement, Taiwan was made expendable for the US and they wanted and the US agreed to. Taiwan would be part of the one China. And ultimately this was to support China in keeping its culture, keeping its history going and reuniting Taiwan back with the mainland specifically. To avoid that, there would be a

military base in Taiwan that would threaten the mainland. So all very simple. What happened then afterwards is in 1979, just a couple of years later, Jimmy Carter actually signed the second communique. And this was really the first time that there was real diplomatic relationships between China and the US. I'm talking about the People's Republic

of China. Now, this was important because in 1979 Deng Xiaoping had started to open China. And so this was the moment where the world would actually have China as part of that agree of all the agreements or many agreements, but also of trade globally.

And so this was the start and they made the same commitments as in the first communique, but they added things that either side would not become a hegemony for the world, which of course the US did, but that was kind of agreed in 1979 and that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China. And then in 1979, what you had is that he Carter he had a lot of pushback from Congress. And so he signed a second agreement not with China, but with the Congress, which is the Taiwan Relations Act. And this is really it said that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means, which was part of the first one.

But adding to that, that arms delivery to have Taiwanese defend themselves against the mainland, should it not be peaceful, that they could defend themselves and that Washington would resist any sort of force that would jeopardize the security, the social and economic system and that of the people of Taiwan. And so basically what that means is that Washington would not intervene, the US would not intervene in any conflict between China and Taiwan or People's Republic of China and the Taiwanese government. The reality is that they were willing to send arms to make sure that Taiwan would not be taken by force. So this was kind of like a strange

situation. What happened then later in 1982 is that under Ronald Reagan, he said clearly he wants to withdraw from Taiwan when all the arms and weapons and basically not have too much military, and that he has no intentions or the US has no intentions of infringing on the Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity or pursuing what is called the two Chinas or one China, one Taiwan. So very clear Reagan with Deng Xiaoping. I mean, they agreed on the third communique, which is the communique that China really keeps as sacred.

They agreed there that there is only one China and that the Beijing is actually the legitimate and sole representative of that one China, and that Washington does not seek to carry out a long term policy of arms sales to Taiwan. But again, the same happened then. What happened is that he got pushed back as well. And so that is when the six assurances came out. And this is saying that Washington will not send an end date for termination of arms sales.

So everything they said in the third communique, they actually started to to change that a little bit to please Taiwan government or the Taipei government at that point. And so that they would not consult with China on US arms sales so they can keep selling arms. And that was the whole idea, but also that they would not mediate on this peaceful reunification.

Most important of these six assurances is definitely the last one, which is that they do not recognize Washington, does not recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. And this is weird because you say one, China and Beijing is actually the sole legitimate ruler of that one China. But Beijing does not have sovereignty over Taiwan. So it's like a house that's part of your house, but you actually are not owning that part.

And so this is where they kept out. Now, Beijing expected in the third communique to be recognized as the sovereign leader or ruler over Taiwan. And in that communique, US acknowledged their request, did not accept or recognize that request. And so this is really what happened. But the question really is, if we look at all that, I mean, it's clear that the US and China had a solid agreement with the third communique and then the US started creating this this Taiwan Relations Act as well as the six assurances. So one law and six assurance and three communiques, they call it. So they created these other things to actually confuse and make it more ambiguous.

And it's become extremely ambiguous since then. And the 100% ambiguous ambiguity has to do with the fact that the US right now has to keep its commitments to the one China policy. And they cannot let go of this commitment because if they let go, actually there's a war in Taiwan because the People's Republic of China will make sure that the Taiwanese island will not become independent because the US and other countries are actually representing and actually are committing to a two China policy or a two China situation. So since Asian Eisenhower because of

that in 1960 when he went to Taiwan, since then no president of the US has ever visited the island. And this is why this visit of Pelosi was so dangerous and so different. But the other ambiguity is that for Chinese point of view, they actually have to keep the reunification peaceful because if they are not doing that peacefully, the reality is that the US could say, well, you're not abiding according to the third communique. So both of them has to keep their word to do. China needs to be peaceful and the US has to commit to the one-China.

But both of them, their actions sometimes speaks different than the words. Now the question is if Taiwan is part of the mainland of the one China, why cannot can China then not fly with certain flight fighter jets over the over the island? Well, that is an agreement that's kind of been set by many countries in the world that military you cannot go within a certain range around the country. And there's like a dozen countries that have that kind of agreement with other countries in the neighborhood. Japan has that. South Korea has that all because of North Korea, of course. But the reality is that for China, it's kind of odd because that region that Taiwan defined actually covers part of the Chinese mainland in the Fujian province, so they wouldn't be able to fly over their own province. So it's just very ambiguous.

But this. Is where the red line is crossed sometimes. And for China, like a cat, it's really a balancing act. If they go too close, I mean the US will call them out for not being peacefully reuniting the islands with the mainland.

Now, since 1989, what we've seen is that China has been growing like crazy and most countries in the world has actually considered China as being the sole representative of the one China. And when I say China, I mean the People's Republic of China is the sole representative and Beijing is the sole representative on itself. And so this is what happened over time. But in 12 2016, a lot of things changed. What changed is that Tsai Ing Wen, the leader of the DPP, the Democratic Progressive Party, won the election. And so China, Taiwan Island or Taiwan is actually been a democracy since 1996.

So this is not very long. I mean, 25 years. And before that, it was really more an autocracy similar to China under the National Party, I mean, under the quo being tung, which is very different from actually what we see today.

And so in 1996 they became a democracy, but the DPP lost actually it was a two party environment and before it was a one party state pretty much, and then it became a two party state. And usually, I mean, every four years the Kuomintang won until 2016 and that's when the DPP won. And they definitely do not want that one-China policy. They don't want to reunite with the mainland.

And so what you saw from 2016 onwards that more and more Taiwanese were voting for actually separating from the mainland directly or indirectly. It had also to do with the other party, the KMT, that was losing a lot of its charisma and power because they weren't always doing a great job. Maybe. So what happened then is that basically Taiwan changed. Now what we forget is that this is all six years old.

I mean, it's very, very young, but that doesn't matter. The Taiwanese island right now is very different from ten or 20 years ago where they really most people wanted to reunite with the mainland. Today, most Taiwanese or many Taiwanese see themselves as China and Beijing, using their economic force and power to actually force that reunification.

And if you look at the deals between China and Taiwan, both on investment as well as on export, I mean, it's very clear that Taiwan is very dependent on China. They're the biggest export country is China, the mainland China for Taiwan. And the biggest investment is also for them. And China has become thousands times bigger in just the last 30, 40 years compared to what they were before in 1980.

And so China is using that force clearly to actually tell Taiwan that now they're so big that they should get back to that family and benefit from that growth of China. But Taiwanese don't always see it that way. The big issue started in Hong Kong because that's the moment where the Taiwanese, who still believed until 20 1617 in this one country, two systems, started having disbelief that this would work for Taiwan because it didn't work, according to many people in Hong Kong, for Hong Kong. And so Taiwan is a very much pro Hong Kong fighter and pro-democracy fighter, and she was helping a lot of people in Hong Kong. So it's very clear what the direction is. They're considered the number one democracy in Asia. So from a Western point of view, they're

part of the Western family of democracies against the autocracies of the mainland. If you then ask the Taiwanese and there's a survey being done, you see that most Taiwanese see themselves as Taiwanese and not Chinese, maybe both Chinese and Taiwanese, but they consider themselves as an identity, being a specific identity. So all this has changed a lot over the past many, many years. I mean, this is less than ten years. And so Taiwan is a different country now than it used to be ten years ago, and that changes everything. But on the other hand, why did this

happen? Well, according to the Chinese, this didn't happen because the Taiwanese changed, but it happened because the world changed and the world changed. And we know all about that since 2017, where Trump really saw China as the biggest threat of the world and the mass media was talking about it, it changed because the pandemic did not allow the Taiwanese and the rest of the world to travel to China to see the good things that China did. It was all about the bad things that China did. So the stories became very, very

negative. And it's also the military buildup of NAITO in Europe because of the war in you. Now recently, but also because they're building up that power, that military power in the Asia Pacific. And so from a Chinese perspective, what has happened is that Taiwan didn't change or the Taiwanese didn't change, but the world changed, and that influenced Taiwan to have a different perspective. Now, what the cause and result is

doesn't really matter. The reality is that the Taiwanese feel very different now than they feel many years ago. And China, the mainland and Beijing should take that into account. Now, if you look at it pure geopolitically, the reality is that Taiwan is extremely important for the mainland because all of the container ships, all of the traffic, all of the export, all of it, most of it actually is going through the Taiwan Strait. So if that would not be part of the

mainland and the US military bases would be part of the island, then like they are, have 400 bases, military bases around Asia Pacific already the US well having a couple more into into the region would really threaten their economic prosperity of China. And so they cannot afford that even if the Taiwanese want a different it's geopolitical suicide from a Chinese point of view. And that's something we forget. And the US already has a lot of bases in Japan and South Korea, but that doesn't influence as much the economic pathway that they need to get their container ships everywhere at the world.

But what happened was that Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan just a couple of weeks ago, beginning of August, and the evil witch of the West, like the Chinese like to call her because she's really not a pro-Beijing or pro-China person, actually went to see Tsai Ing Wen, and that made a lot of noise about it. And so the problem is not so much that she went to Taiwan, but the fact that there was a big tam tam and a lot of noise about the fact that her plane was going to be shut down and that this was something that she needed to do. And so everybody was making noise, but the only one not making noise was actually Biden.

And Biden was the one that should have prevented her to go because it's geopolitical suicide to actually have a war in Taiwan for the whole world and definitely also for the US. But still he kept silent and that is where China has a problem. If the third person in command after Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, is actually visiting the island, even if it's allowed to do it, I mean, she should not have done that or Biden should have pressured her not to go. That didn't happen. And so this set a precedent again for China. But from a Chinese perspective, it's very clear she had no right to go because she crossed a red line. Of course, she's the speaker of the House. I mean, she individually has every right to go.

But that is the real problem. From a Chinese point of view, no person in the government would be allowed to make such a decision without top politicians actually their approval. But in the US, because we're we're a democracy or the US is a democracy, everybody has every right. But what if that doesn't benefit the

government or the country itself or it harms it even? Is that still a right? Well, it seems that the story that we keep up in the West and China doesn't buy that story. Now, the problem is that China considers actually this visit as a sign that the world will now see who the bullies are and playing a game under the US hegemony. And so the whole idea of many Chinese and the governments is always like finally with the visit, it's very clear that the US is bullying China and wants this war.

Now the reality is that most of the Western world doesn't think like that. So this is a false idea of China that the Western world would think like that the rest of the world might think and some countries might, but most of the Western world doesn't think like that. Same problem on the other side. We in the West, we in the US believe that the games that China has played in the area around Taiwan with sending planes and helicopters and and vessels through military vessels, through the strait, shows that China is really playing war games and shows its expansionist character and really is becoming very dangerous. But that is not how the rest of the world looks at it. Maybe the Western world thinks like that,

but the rest of the world doesn't think like that. And so the danger today and the risk of a real war is that we're both thinking something of the other part of the world that is actually. Not completely true. And so we're creating our own stories now from a Chinese perspective. The problem is that they feel that we in the West, specifically America, has no respect for China and no respect for the agreements and the commitments that was made in the third communique. And so if we start by sending Nancy

Pelosi and other people to Taiwan, if we start doubting these commitments for China, it's a sign that they could actually liberate Taiwan by attacking the the the region, attacking the island and trying to take it back to the mainland because it's part of the mainland already from a Chinese or one China perspective. On the other hand, Blinken and many people in the US see that actually China is very irresponsible by constantly being assertive with military actions around the island. And so they're not keeping their part of the agreement to keep the peace of peaceful reunification with the mainland. And so both are actually blaming the others to cross the red line. And this is, of course, an ingredients or a perfect cocktail for a war, because both are blaming that they're crossing the red line. So what is the real danger these days? Well, the real danger is that the assertiveness, military assertiveness of the People's Republic of China in the Taiwanese or the Taiwan Strait is becoming a new normal, which means that there's a lot of tensions being build up.

And what we've seen over the past weeks, which was exercises for about four or five days, might repeat itself, which could disrupt the whole Taiwanese economy on itself and feel like they're threatened by Beijing. The result of it is that the new reality for Taiwan is that they need to start looking at defending themselves. And that also means actually a change in how the Taiwanese look at the future. What I believe is going to happen is that we're going to have a new silence again, and this could take months, maybe a year again between many parties, between the US and China and maybe other countries. And the result of that is that tensions could rise.

And we're going to again make some new assumptions based on what we believe and not based on the talks that we have. And that has been the problem between China and the US as well. Sometimes you need to meet face to face and that new silence is starting again. Well, it's also going to change, and that is the biggest danger for all. Of all, according to me, is that more and more politicians in the West, whether it's in the US, in Japan, in South Korea, in the UK, in Germany, wherever, will feel that standing by Taiwan is now the new normal and will help them to promote themselves into their own constituencies.

And so this is something very dangerous because the democracies are losing grip over what can hurt or not hurt the countries where the politicians belong to. And so I think this build up of new politicians wanting to actually show that they are fully standing behind Taiwan could actually be the biggest challenge to deal with in the future. If you ask the Taiwanese, because that's ultimately the biggest importance of this, what you see is that most Taiwanese until recently did not believe that there would be a military contact, a military conflict. This is back in October. Now we've seen the same in Ukraine, so that is no guarantee that it won't happen.

But if you look at the Chinese side, if there would be a military confrontation or conflict, it's clear that China's weight on the military side is like ten times bigger than Taiwan. And so probably if there would be a war and that's where many Chinese believe that they're actually quite powerful, it wouldn't last as long as what we see in Europe. And so this is really very, very dangerous.

But thinking about the fact that the Taiwanese don't expect it is not an important as a fact. What's important also is that most Chinese, they still want to have this peaceful reunification, but they're worried that the US and other countries in the West is. Democracies that are fighting against the autocracies are now trying to use Taiwan actually to get to win their own fight individually or as a country. And so this might not be peaceful because the room for peacefulness might go or fade away. Now, if you think about the world, and I think that's the biggest danger, is that we are starting in the world, in the West to.

Expect a war in Taiwan. And if you start expecting things just like we started expecting a war in the Ukraine, we all know that typically the war comes there. Now, a very different story between China and Russia and Ukraine and Taiwan. But the reality, the more people that expect it, the more danger people are taking in order to get to that goal that they expect anyhow.

And so I'm very concerned about this becoming a new normal, that we expect a war and because of that, it actually will come. And why would that come? Because the tensions grow and an incident is very quickly done. And so what I do see will happen is that we'll see a de-escalation very quickly from a geopolitical point of view, where many countries are going, specifically in Asia, but also between China and the US are going to try and tone it down and tone it down in the way that they start up conversations again and they try to avoid a war that would actually be disruptive for the whole world. But at the same time, these are words and these are talks. What I do see is that the actions will be louder and louder and we'll see escalations.

We'll see more and more escalations in the Taiwan Strait, probably because more and more politicians and people of importance are going to visit the island. Stand by Tsai Ing Wen and stand by the people that actually want the separation of Taiwan. And so that is creating a big challenge. And so this is where the actions will

be escalating and the words will probably be de-escalating. But the actions has the danger of any mistake and the whole war is there, and that is something we should be looking at. So we should be very careful to look at all the actions, not so much the words, to see why and how people are actually doing things they shouldn't be doing to keep the war from happening. And unless we actually try to get people to not escalate it and have more support for Taiwan, the chances are real that actually we're heading for a war. And that wouldn't be just a war in Taiwan. It would be a war on a global level.

But maybe I'll make another video about this and how the effects of that would be on the world. Thanks for watching and see you next week for another week's of Pascals, China. Let's.

2022-08-24 15:04

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