søndag 4. april 2021

US pushes and tests China’s ‘red line’ on Taiwan

When the Biden administration deployed a sitting American ambassador to Taiwan, marking the first time such a senior US envoy visited the self-governing island in over 42 years, the move clearly aimed to send a signal to China. Last weekend, US Ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland accompanied Palau President Surangel Whipps to Taiwan, ostensibly as part of ongoing efforts to expedite pandemic-era travel between Taiwan and Palau. The small island nation is one of the few remaining countries to maintain official diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Yet the broader geopolitical significance of the much-vaunted Hennessey-Niland visit wasn’t lost on China, which almost immediately doubled down on its intimidation tactics against the island, which Beijing considers a renegade province that must be incorporated with the mainland.