Taiwan was a part of mainland China for 1800 years. In 1949, with the end of the Chinese civil war the defeated nationalist force of China retreated to the island of Taiwan and made it their home. The nationalist force wanted to control the whole of China but gave in to the Chinese communist force. The victorious communist party for the sake of peace did not put any force on Taiwan but has never gone away from its claim over Taiwan and has believed all along that someday the two parts of China will be reunified. Furthermore, China has warned Taiwan since then that China will not tolerate any move of the nationalist force for independence.
In 1971, the UN general assembly took its resolution No. 2758 by which the UN proclaimed that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole authority over any claim and sovereignty of Taiwan. After that 181 countries of the world have aligned with the UN charter.
On 1st January 1979, the US established its first official diplomatic relationship with the PRC by adopting the ‘One China Policy’. The One China Policy nullified the existence of two entities of China proposed by Taiwan: Republic of China (ROC) that is another official name for Taiwan and People’s Republic of China (PRC) for mainland China. On August 17, 1982, through a communiqué, the US went one step further affirming the One China Policy as it had stated that the US had no intention of pursuing a policy of “Two Chinas” or “One China, One Taiwan”. From that time of recognition of the PRC by the US, all subsequent U.S governments till the regime of Donald Trump adhered to that One China Policy. In fact, the One China Policy is nothing new to the world; rather this is an established reality of the world and world order for decades. The policy says, Taiwan was a part of China and any country that wants to establish an official diplomatic relation with the PRC, must break any official relation with Taiwan. However, the Sino-U.S relationship adopted by China claims that Taiwan is an inseparable part of PRC and one day Taiwan will be reunified with mainland China.
However, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter inaugurated the Taiwan Relation Act (TRA) for commercial, cultural and the purpose of other relations. Again, the US authority announced the Six Assurances for Taiwan; both of the policies adopted by the US after the One China Policy, initiated a clear deviation from the One China Policy. But, in recent past times, the US seemed to be moving out of the One China Policy more. Recently, the U.S has increased its arms sale to Taiwan substantially and it has seen record breaking trade deals with Taiwan. In 2015 alone The US and Taiwan trade deal exceeded 66.6 billion dollars. These are again other signs that make the people of China and the world believe that the US is coming out of its firm commitment for its sheer interest.
In line with all the harm that the US has done to the One China policy so far, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan on 2nd August 2022, is the gravest one. Pelosi is the 3rd high ranked person of the U.S government visited Taiwan. To the utter dismay of the people of China and its sitting government, Pelosi led a very high profile U.S delegation to Taiwan in a military airplane. The U.S authority kept the whole thing in the dark until Pelosi landed in Taiwan.
The PRC instantly reacted to Pelosi’s visit and showed its highest concern and grievance. The Chinese authority firmly believes that this visit is a serious violation of the One China Policy and China-U.S relationship. China also believes that the U.S wants to contain the PRC by playing the Taiwan card. This visit of Pelosi to Taiwan clearly stands for the violation of the U.N charter. China also sees Pelosi’s visit as a clear and planned provocation by the U.S authority. The Chinese authority has warned through its clear messages that any party playing with the fire will be perished by it. Pelosi’s visit furthermore entails the breach of the consensus of the world community. The One China Principle is an established norm of foreign relations of any country with the PRC. This visit of Pelosi has certainly harmed the peaceful world order once again. The Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in Bangladesh condemned and reacted sternly to this grave offence done by the U.S. Bangladesh has also made its position clear about this recent visit of Pelosi saying that all parties should abide by the U.N charter and should obey the already established norm of mutual relation.
The recent visit of the leader of the US House of Representatives, has put the world again at risk of war between two mighty countries of the world. This step taken by the U.S will definitely increase the chances of unrest along the both sides of the straits of China and Taiwan. This unrest will not only be limited to the Chinese region; there are high chances that it will disturb the peace of East, Far East and Southeast Asia. This will not be an exaggeration to say that this unexpected and out of norm visit by the high official delegation of the US will consequently also endanger world peace and stability.
Sayeef Ahmed is an associate professor of English at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST)
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