Why Taiwan is the most dangerous arena of US-China rivalry

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Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said last week that it was necessary to stabilize Sino-American relations after a series of “wrong words and deeds” that caused relations to freeze again. During a meeting with Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, Qin stressed that the US must improve the way it handles the Taiwan issue and stop undermining the “One China” principle. in 2010, when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid an official visit to Taiwan, which, to put it mildly, angered China. In response, Beijing severed formal channels of communication with the United States, including one between its armed forces. Tensions between the superpowers eased in November when U.S. and Chinese leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Indonesia and pledged more dialogue. According to a Chinese foreign ministry statement, Ambassador Qin Gang reportedly told his U.S. counterpart that that “a series of misguided words and actions by the United States undermined the hard-won [rozejm – przypis red.] in Sino-American relations. (…) The dialogue and cooperation agenda agreed by both sides has been disrupted and relations between the two countries have once again hit ice cold.”

Is the stabilization of US-China relations possible?

Tensions also rose in February when a Chinese high-altitude balloon appeared in US airspace, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a visit to Beijing in response. Last week, however, Blinken seemed to allow a visit to the Middle Kingdom, telling the Washington Post that it was important to restore regular lines of communication at all levels. Also last week, US climate envoy John Kerry said China had invited him to talks “immediately” on how to prevent a global climate crisis, adding even more hope to restarting relations between the world’s largest nations. China-US relations, avoiding a downward spiral, and preventing any accidents between China and the United States,” Qin said. Taiwan remains the most sensitive issue in China-US relations. Last month, China staged a war exercise around Taiwan after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles. Since 1979, US-Taiwan relations have been governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, which provides a legal basis for providing the country with the means to defend itself, but does not require the US to come to its aid in the event of an attack. As part of the 2023 budget, Congress approved US$1 billion in arms assistance to Taiwan.

Importance of Taiwan for the world

In 1987, Morris Chang founded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC). Since then, Taiwan has become the largest chip producer in the world, not only thanks to a local company, but especially thanks to large European and American companies that, in order to reduce production costs, moved their factories there. However, the golden era of the island began in 2012, when TSCM signed a contract with the American giant Apple. Currently, Taiwan, through TSMC, controls 56 percent of the world’s microchip production. And at the level of microchips required by new technology equipment (e.g. smartphones), as much as 92 percent of them are produced there. According to experts, Taiwan is striving to strengthen its dominant position in this segment on the global market. In the coming years, Taiwan’s share in the global production of integrated circuits will reach 66 percent, and at least six new factories will be built on the island. No wonder the US is doing everything to prevent the People’s Republic of China from taking full control of the island. Could Taiwan become the cause of war in the region? ElConfidencial, abcnews

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