Unmasking the Truth: Debunking the Big Lie About Taiwan for a Captivating Read

For nearly half a century, American policy toward Taiwan has been rooted in the belief that both sides of the Taiwan Straits view themselves as part of the same nation, with their only disagreement being who should govern and how and when reunification should occur. However, this assertion is not only false but widely recognized as such by officials within the foreign-policy establishment.

While it may have been a necessary falsehood when the United States recognized the People’s Republic of China, it remains a lie. It is crucial for us to acknowledge this fact if we want to prevent China from attempting to annex Taiwan, a move that would disrupt the international order in Asia and beyond.

During a recent visit to Taiwan, I had the opportunity to engage in conversations with various individuals, including the President, candidates running for office, senior ministers, academics, diplomats, and military personnel. These discussions made it abundantly clear that Taiwan is an independent country. Numerous polls indicate that its people have little desire to become part of mainland China. In fact, they identify more strongly as Taiwanese than Chinese. Taiwan has its own currency, a thriving economy, vibrant democratic politics, robust armed forces, and an increasingly desperate foreign policy. These are all characteristics of an independent nation.

However, American officials and experts still react defensively when Taiwan’s independence is mentioned, as if the Taiwanese are on the verge of declaring independence. They fail to provide any evidence to support their claims. What they don’t realize is that Taiwan is already independent in every meaningful sense. Their knee-jerk reaction is an assertion of power over a protectorate that we have yet to definitively commit to protect.

President Joe Biden’s occasional statements about defending Taiwan with force are often quickly dismissed as not reflecting official policy. This habitual response only sets up our minor ally for failure and allows us to blame them for our own lack of foresight.

This continuous dismissal of Taiwan’s independence has made it increasingly difficult for the United States to defend the island and for Taiwan to defend itself. Taiwan’s military isolation has resulted in inexperienced armed forces, deprived of the benefits of regular training and collaboration with the U.S. military, unlike countries like South Korea and Japan. Furthermore, the ambiguous stance of the United States on whether it would intervene militarily has left the Taiwanese uncertain about their own willingness to fight for their freedom.

Lie after lie perpetuates the fiction that Taiwan is not an independent nation. Taiwanese presidents are unable to officially visit the United States; instead, they are disguised as being “in transit” through other countries, often ones coerced by China into cutting ties with Taiwan. The United States maintains the “American Institute in Taiwan” rather than establishing an official embassy. Deputy assistant secretaries of state and defense are forbidden from visiting Taiwan, and American service personnel stationed there cannot wear their uniforms. The United States refrains from openly conducting military exercises with Taiwan, even though closer ties are needed now more than ever.

This comfortable lie is an unwillingness to confront the reality that China’s Communist rulers have influenced our understanding of this region. While China prepares for a potential invasion of Taiwan, its strategy mainly involves incremental and psychological pressure, including bribery, pushing Taiwan out of international forums, seducing Taiwanese surrogates, and conducting military operations to intimidate the Taiwanese population. The Chinese armed forces have become increasingly bold, crossing the “median line” between Taiwan and the mainland, firing missiles near the island, and violating the Taiwanese air-defense interception zone at an alarming rate.

To counter China’s tactics, the United States should consider applying similar incremental and psychological pressure. Why not allow American military personnel to operate on the island openly? Why not permit senior diplomats and defense officials to visit Taiwan? Why not conduct joint military exercises? And why not remain silent when President Biden mentions defending Taiwan without immediately clarifying that it is not official policy? China would undoubtedly react, but our previous passivity over Chinese activities in the South China Sea only encouraged further aggression.

It is crucial for the United States to be prepared to fight for Taiwan. If the island were to fall to China, our most significant geopolitical rival would gain control of Taiwan’s vibrant economy, comparable in size to Switzerland’s or Poland’s. China would also possess advanced technology, particularly in the field of computer chips. Losing Taiwan would jeopardize the strategic positioning of the first island chain in the Pacific, putting the sea lanes of our closest allies, such as Japan, at risk. Our credibility would suffer a severe blow, and our allies would question whether they should accommodate China or seek their own nuclear deterrent.

Moreover, the loss of Taiwan would extinguish yet another liberal democratic state in a world where free government, liberty, and the rule of law are already under immense pressure.

Eighty-five years ago, the leader of a global superpower dismissed a conflict in a distant land, ignorant of its true significance. We must not make the same mistake with Ukraine today. We have come to understand that history is far from over, and issues like climate change are not our sole urgent concerns. We are once again in a world of great-power politics, and to effectively navigate this landscape, policymakers must start with the truth and take prudent yet resolute steps to dismantle the impacts of falsehoods.


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Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
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