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Baiting Beijing: US War games in the Taiwan Strait

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By Dr Austin Maho

Recently, the Taiwan trade mission representative in Nigerian. Mr. Andy Yih-Ping Liu was on Channels television diplomatic programme were he spoke at length about Taiwan Nigeria relation and the provocation endeared by the recent visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

Most importantly he raised issues about China’s “one country two systems” policy describing the policy a failure in Hong Kong.

Evidently, Mr. Liu was speaking in line with western narrative and as a representative of the administration in Taipei one would not have expected him to say anything different.

Be that as it may a historical analysis of the Taiwan situation would be rewarding to help put the issue into proper perspective. This is against the background of the attempt by the United States to stoke conflict in the region through the recent visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the region and the military build up in the South China sea instigated by the US designed to provoke and bait China.

The starting point for this analysis is the Chinese policy and concept of “One country, two systems”.

One country, two systems, is a basic state policy the Chinese government has adopted to realize the peaceful reunification of all China without firing a shot.

Following this principle, the Chinese government successfully solved the question of Hong Kong through diplomatic negotiations with the British government, and resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, fulfilling the common aspiration of the Chinese people.

That singular policy was a diplomatic master stroke that avoided conflict between Britain and China and facilitated the peaceful handover of Hong Kong to mainland China in 1997 after 99 years of colonial rule.

Hong Kong got rid of colonialism and returned to the embrace of the motherland, and embarked on the broad road of common development with the mainland.

Hong Kong’s return to China turned “one country, two systems” from a scientific concept into vivid reality.

The basic theoretical underpinnings behind the policy was laid out in the early 1980s by China’s state leader Deng Xiaoping.

According to Deng Xiaoping, “one country, two systems” means there is only but one China and under this premise the mainland adheres to the socialist system while administrative zones like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan may retain their capitalist systems over a long as necessary and enjoys a high degree of autonomy which allows the HKSAR to exercise an independent legislative and judicial power over its domestic affairs including that of final adjudication in line with the laws, decrees and regulations already in force in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, the government of the HKSAR is composed of local inhabitants. Principal officials are selected by election or through consultations. The long term goal of the mainland government is to ensure the unification of China through non-violent means.

However, it is evident that the peaceful rise of China is making a lot of Western nation uncomfortable. The United States for instance sees China as an adversary and would deploy covert and overt means to undermine the communist country.

Since 1997, Hong Kong has experienced peace and stability until widespread protest in the country beginning from 2018 which were fuelled by western backed separatists within the country hiding under the cover of student pro-democracy protests. The plan was to use non-violent action as a means of undermining the Chinese government.

The immediate fuel for the protests was a proposed amendments to a fugitive transfer bill in Hong Kong. The selling point was that the bill if passed into law will affect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. Though the law was later dropped, violent demonstrations persisted.

Curiously in March 2019 U.S. Department of State issued the “2019 Hong Kong Policy Act Report” which accused Chinese central government of implementing or instigating a number of actions that were inconsistent with the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.

How ridiculous! The report amounts to a gross violation of the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. In June 2019, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi publicly stated that Hong Kong demonstrations were “a beautiful sight to behold”.

Then in July of the same year , former US. Vice president Mike Pence and then U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton held meetings with Hong Kong opposition leaders. Invariably the US was trying to provoke China using Hong Kong as a bait!

Having failed to bait China with Hong Kong it would seems the United States under Joe Biden has now turned its eyes on Taiwan. It beggars belief that the United States would actively and openly lend its support to separatists elements in Taiwan knowing fully well that Taiwan is a part of China and not an independent sovereign state.

Its very curious also that same speaker Nancy Pelosi is at the Centre of the new controversy.

It is a historical fact that before 1949, Taiwan was ruled from mainland China. When the communist party took over the realms of leadership in China, the remnant of the old administration fled to Taiwan and established a parallel government.

Essentially the people of China and Taiwan are one and the same. Taiwan is not an independent country by any means. Even the United States that is goading Taiwan to confront mainland China doesn’t recognize Taiwan as an independent country. Apart from a motely of island nations no country in the world recognizes Taiwan as a country.

In the views of the United Nations Taiwan is seen as a province of China and as such does not qualify and has no right to participate in its activities. UN resolution 2758 acknowledges that Taiwan is part of China. On October 25, 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which “restored” the People’s Republic of China to the Chinese seat at the UN and “expelled” the Republic of China (Taiwan).

It is the height of irresponsibility, hypocracy and stoking global conflict for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have flew all the way to Taipei to advocate what she called Taiwan’s right to self-determination.

Peharps, China should also send high powered Chinese government officials to US provinces like Hawaii,, Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands or the US Virgin Islands and lets see how the United States would react.

Mr Andy Yih-Ping Liu attempt to present China as an aggressor in the Taiwan question is certainly out of syn with the reality of events playing out in the Taiwan strait.

Shortly after the visit by Nancy Pelosi. which China described as crossing “the red line” and taking appropriate measures, Taiwan announced it was flagging off a military drill complete with artillery fires. The US as if to further annoy China announced its forces will be maneuvering along with indian troops at the border under dispute with China.

The aggressor should be clear to the world.

It is evident that the US is trying to use the same template it deployed in the ongoing Russo/Ukraine conflict where arguebly it has achieved its strategic objective of degrading the Russian army through a proxy war with Russia, but China is not Russia.

Few days ago the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled: “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era” where it emphasized its desire to resolving the Taiwan question peacefully in the interest of its national rejuvenation and shared aspiration of all Chinese people:

Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. It is indispensable for the realization of China’s rejuvenation. It is also a historic mission of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The CPC, the Chinese government, and the Chinese people have striven for decades to achieve this goal”. The statement read.

The United States should be guided and the attempt to goad China into open confrontation using Taiwan as a bait should be condemned by the global community.

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