America, China, and Taiwan: Democracy or the Continuation of the one-China Policy?

America, China, and Taiwan: Democracy or the Continuation of the one-China Policy?

Michiyo Tanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The President-elect of America, Donald Trump, is adamant that he isn’t beholden to a one-China policy under the prevailing conditions. Of course, this currently doesn’t mean that he will alter the current status quo. However, being in charge of democratic America, then Trump will rightly focus on the interests of the nation that he will soon lead – while also paying attention to the democratic reality of Taiwan.

Trump reiterated on Fox News that he isn’t tied by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”

America rightly needs to reevaluate ties with Taiwan because this nation is a progressive democratic nation. Indeed, Taiwan is an economic role model and very forward thinking. Ironically, the children of Taiwan, irrespective of family income, have greater economic opportunities based on a much fairer educational system rather than so-called Communist China. After all, in China, the educational system pampers to the children of the mega-rich and who belong to the elites within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

At the same time, Trump points to China manipulating the currency in a negative manner, unfair tariffs, and the lack of support in relation to the nuclear ambitions of North Korea. Other issues like Tibet blight China’s standing and tensions in the South China Sea remain problematic. Therefore, Trump believes that serious negotiations need to be ironed out between America and China – while also considering the democratic reality of modern day Taiwan.

The BBC reports, After decades of formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the US decided in 1979 it was in its best interests to recognize the Communist government in Beijing as the sole legal government of China… Formal ties with Taiwan were cut, but strong informal links remain, including substantial military support.”

Yet, events in modern times are very different because the democratic and political progression of Taiwan is to be admired. The Cold War period is over and clearly America in 1979 was more concerned about the Soviet Union rather than China. Indeed, America and China both opposed the Soviet Union in Afghanistan – and relations with Vietnam and other policies – both suited Washington and Beijing respectively. However, times have changed dramatically not only in the political sphere but also in relation to economics and trade.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated “The robust female President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan received a boost by receiving a phone call from the US President-elect Donald Trump. It is easy to overplay such a minor event but given the history of appeasing China, then this minor event is much larger in capacity. However, rather than rebuking Trump or overplaying the “China card,” it is worth stating that Taiwan is a progressive democratic nation with a powerful economic infrastructure… It isn’t a case of being anti-China; on the contrary, it is in the interest of all nations to accept the independent reality of modern Taiwan and foster closer ties in northeast-Asia with stable powers. After all, economic trade between America, China, Japan, and Taiwan, is a natural reality.”

China will gradually increase pressure towards Trump if he does implement genuine change. Despite this, Trump is correct to reevaluate ties between America and China – and focus on issues related to democratic Taiwan. It may well be that no real change is in the offing; therefore, only time will tell. Yet, it is wrong that the one-party-state of the CCP – and feudal monarchies in the Gulf – dictate terms with America. Therefore, Trump is correct to focus on the bigger picture and to put the national interests of America first.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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