An Analysis of China’s Restraint Towards Taiwan

2023/06/11 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online-Interview: A researcher of international issues said about the latest confrontation between the West and China in Taiwan that" in recent years, significantly since the end of Donald Trump's administration, the level of tension between the United States and China over the Taiwan issue has intensified, which has caused Western countries, led by the United States, to take measures to strengthen Taiwan and deter it against China.

Tahmoores Gholami told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, “it should be noted that from an economic point of view, Taiwan is one of the most important financial centers in East Asia, which is responsible for the centrality of trade and commerce in that region. Also, economically, as an actor with an open economy, Taiwan has a lot in common with the economies of Western countries.

He added, “The second thing is that Taiwan is one of the most advanced manufacturing centers in communication and information technologies. Many computer parts and microchips are produced in this country and exported worldwide. The West has made Taiwan an essential player in this field with its intellectual and financial support.

According to this expert, the third action taken is that Western countries have tried to raise the political status and weight of this country by visiting Taiwan or welcoming its local officials to their country. For example, last year, Nancy Pelosi, the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was the country’s highest official who traveled to Taiwan despite China’s warnings. After this trip, some other congress representatives and European officials visited Taiwan.

Gholami discussed other actions of Western countries and explained that “since the end of Barack Obama’s term, the United States has provided military equipment and training, as well as sending advanced weapons to Taiwan in such a way that the Chinese government officials themselves acknowledge this issue. In the latest development, the President of the United States announced that Taiwan would be able to acquire F-16 fighter jets next year. In addition, Taiwan is also equipped with advanced US defense systems. Taiwan also enjoys intelligence assistance from the US military in East Asia to monitor military movements.

Pointing out that the United States and Joe Biden himself have clearly stated that they will defend Taiwan in the event of a military attack by China, this expert on international affairs said that “this declaration of American support will naturally strengthen the weight of Taiwan and its courage to confront with China. Recently the defense minister of the United Kingdom also announced that this country might go to war with China in defense of Taiwan in the next ten years. This means that the United States of America and its main ally, the United Kingdom, are ready to provide military support to Taiwan during a war. Australia and Canada should also be added to this group.

Gholami also explained, referring to the recent agreement between Australia and the United States, that “the Australian government has committed to equip this country’s submarines with nuclear fuel. This US action is to strengthen Australia to confront China. The United States is aware of the support of English-speaking countries for its policies toward Taiwan.

Regarding the latest action aimed at the future, this expert also said that the European countries and the United States have clearly announced that if China takes military action against Taiwan, this country will face severe economic sanctions.

He added that “the combination of these measures has caused the Chinese government to act with complete restraint in the face of the Taiwan issue.”

The expert on American issues also said about China’s policies and actions towards this conflict: “China has tried to send this message by strengthening Chinese nationalism and considering Taiwan as belonging to China, and on the other hand, by conducting various military maneuvers around Taiwan. China wants to convey to Western countries that it will not tolerate Taiwan, but at the same time, it has tried to refrain from entering the field that Russia is currently involved in.”

Finally, Gholami said about the possible future scenario that “currently, according to these measures, it seems that in the coming years, China will not be highly motivated to attack Taiwan because this country has well considered the alliance and coalition with Western countries in supporting Ukraine against Russia. Therefore, China prefers to postpone the annexation of Taiwan into its territory until the costs of this action are at least lower than today’s conditions.

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