Peace in Taiwan Strait “at risk” Because of Trump’s One China Comments

Trump’s bargaining chip may prove risky for Taiwan

China has warned the incoming U.S. administration that any attempt to challenge the “One China” policy would affect peace in the Taiwan Strait. The spokesman also added that the interference could damage the developing US-China relations.

U.S. has formal ties with China instead of the island of Taiwan, under the “One China” policy. China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province. Mr. Trump has expressed doubts about continuing to abide by the policy.

China was angered when Trump took an official call from the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen and later tweeted about it. China said that it was “seriously concerned” by Trump’s comments, and urged sensitivity around the issue.

China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs spokesman, An Fengshan went one step ahead and warned of serious consequences. He said:-

Upholding the “One China” principle is the political basis of developing China-US relations, and is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy, stable development of China-US relations is out of the question, and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait will be seriously impacted.

The comments from Mr. An came as the head of the U.S. Pacific Command; Admiral Harry Harris vowed that the U.S. would keep challenging Beijing’s “aggressive, assertive behavior in the South China Sea.” He was speaking to an Australian think tank “Lowy Institute” in Sydney.

We will not allow the shared domains to be closed down unilaterally, no matter how many bases are built on artificial features in the South China Sea. We will co-operate where we can, but we will be ready to confront where we must.

Artificial islands capable of hosting military planes has been developed by Beijing. It also claims sovereignty over virtually all of the resource-endowed South China Sea, despite rival claims from its South East Asian neighbors. Washington has repeatedly declined the claims saying that it does not recognize the claims, and has sent warships into the area to assert the right to the freedom of navigation.

The biggest issue in U.S.-China relations for President-elect Trump is trade, but for China, it’s Taiwan. It’s clear that Mr. Trump and his team knows this very well and are hoping to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip to get what they want from China. The important question is that whether this stance brings opportunity or risk to Taiwan?

This question is being asked in Taiwan, which has been ruled separately for the most part of its history which China believes was snatched from it. The president of Republic of China (Taiwan), Tsai Ing-wen asked the same question in the following words:-

What we have to be careful about is this: Trump has a businessman’s attitude, will he just use this as an opportunity to bargain with China and sell out Taiwan. We want to remind [Taiwan’s] government not to go too fast. If China can’t accept this, its response will be very strong.