For years, China has used significant pressure to force Taiwan to accept China’s One China vision, which essentially gives China complete control of Taiwan, a democratic nation off the coast of China. In the past several years, China has persuaded at least 23 diplomatic partners to not recognize Taiwan at all.
The Annual Threat Assessment from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, released on April 9, 2021, predicts “Beijing will press Taiwan authorities to move toward unification and will condemn what it views as increased U.S.-Taiwan engagement. We expect that friction will grow as Beijing steps up attempts to portray Taipei as internationally isolated and dependent on the mainland for economic prosperity, and as China continues to increase military activity around the island.” Indeed, Chinese aircraft are increasingly doing fly-bys over the island.
Although the 1979 U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communique officially changed U.S. diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing – meaning the United States recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China and considers Taiwan a part of China – the United States has always had a great unofficial relationship with Taiwan.
Further, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, obligates the United States to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defensive capability, demands peaceful resolutions between Beijing and Taipei, and forbids unilateral changes to the status quo by either side.
Taiwan is one of our most trusted Pacific alliances, plus they make things we need…like semiconductors, for example. Already a leading manufacturer of computer chips, Taiwan will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of the race for global technological domination – a contest that will be primarily between China and the United States. Regardless of how China reacts to the relationship, the United States must remain committed to Taiwan and protect the island with every tool at our disposal.