As Chinese violations of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone off the southeast coast of the island continuing in large numbers have caused tensions between the United States and China to simmer once again. Earlier on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden said he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the growing animosity between Beijing and Taipei. During the conversation, according to Biden, both leaders agreed to continue abiding by the Taiwan Agreement. He appeared to be referring to the Taiwan Relations Act, as well as the One-China policy which has guided US relations with Taiwan and Beijing over the years.
The US denounced the Chinese military maneuvers on Sunday, calling them both provocative and destabilizing. On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland. This is apparently part of the latest push by the White House to ‘manage the competition,’ so to speak and prevent the two nations from falling into a major conflict. Sullivan will have his work cut out for him. Thus far, the Biden Administration’s foreign policy team has been shown to be lacking. Especially when it comes to dealing with China. The summit meeting held between US and Chinese officials in Anchorage back in March, 2021 certainly revealed the deficiencies on the US team. State is weak, the Defense Department is fully preoccupied with instituting a new woke policy on the services and the National Security Council is practically a nonentity in foreign policy matters. Afghanistan proved all of these points beyond the shadow of a doubt. Now, even before the dust has settled in Kabul, the Chinese are making noise.
Sullivan will likely come back from Switzerland emptyhanded. Beijing appears to be feeling out Washington to determine just how far the US will go to support Taiwan in the event of a China-Taiwanese conflict. That’s certainly one goal of the ADIZ intrusions over the weekend. By the end of the week, do not be surprised if China moves to tie the loosening of US trade tariffs to the heightening tensions near Taiwan. If Xi becomes convinced that the Biden Administration will go to any lengths to prevent a war over Taiwan, the Chinese president is going to use this to his nation’s benefit and gain every concession possible.
Then, once he is prepared to move and not a second before, China will still invade Taiwan at some point down the line.