Both Trump and China’s Xi gain in Graver Tension across Taiwan StraitPosted: December 14, 2016
Trump is regarded as inexperienced in diplomacy when he questioned US one-China policy. There is fear that China may, therefore, take Taiwan by force. China’s military threat is real and it has sent fighter jets to fly around Taiwan.
Reuters says in its report “U.S. urges Taiwan to increase defense spending given China threat” yesterday, “Defense spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday, days after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island.”
The US official meant that Taiwan should buy more weapons. That will certainly enable US weapon producers to make more money as the US is Taiwan’s only weapon supplier.
Trump need not send US troops to heighten tension across Taiwan Strait. A few words are quite enough. China will respond with military threat at Taiwan and Taiwan has to buy more US weapons resulting in Taiwan having less funds to seek economic growth.
China will, on the other hand, greatly reduce its preferential treatments for Taiwan to aggravate Taiwan’s economic difficulty while the tension caused by Trump and China will scare investors away and cause them to refrain from investing in Taiwan or even withdraw their investment. Taiwan’s economic difficulties may cause pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen to lose the next presidential election to pro-Beijing KMT. Peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue will be facilitated by the KMT if its is in power.
Some analysts are afraid that Trump’s hawkish words may encourage Tsai to declare Taiwan independence. Is Tsai so stupid when she is not sure that the US will support and succeed in supporting Taiwan independence? She must have the common sense that China is much more important than Taiwan for the US. The US only wants to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip. It has no intention to fight a war with China for Taiwan as it will gain nothing in the war even if it wins the war.
Therefore, China’s Xi will laugh in his sleeve at Trump’s use of Taiwan as a bargaining chip as it helps Xi in his efforts for a peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan-defense-idUSKBN1422TT.