Monday September 25, 2023

Taiwan and Sun Tzu Art of War

August 09, 2022

The United Nations through the resolution of 2758 recognised People’s Republic of China (PRC) the sole and legitimate representative of people of China. The resolution also reinforced the PRC’s One China Policy, which states Taiwan is inalienable and integral part of China. It is a red line which has been drawn since the establishment of People’s Republic of China.

Therefore, a wider community of countries (181) by following the UN’s resolution, started to develop diplomatic relations with PRC. The US also followed the pursuit and established diplomatic relations with China by committing firm adherence to One China Policy. The US, through the second communiqué, assured that US and its people will recognise PRC as sole representative of people of China and will only keep commercial and unofficial linkages with Taiwan.

Unfortunately, since the economic rise of China, the US is deviating from One China Policy. In collaboration with its allies, it has launched policy of containment of China. It introduced many tools, including Pivot of Asia, QUAD, B3W etc. They also tried to agitate China by interfering in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Despite all the provocations, China kept its cool and tried to avert interference and criticism by peaceful means. However, the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan has changed whole dynamics. Although China was continuously warning, US never gave a head to China’s advice. Many countries were also asking the US to respect the One China Policy. Despite all this, Nancy Pelosi went ahead with her visit and described it an act of support to Taiwan.

From the visit, China deduced four presumptions. First, the US is deliberately crossing the Chinese red line. Second, it is ultimate denial of One China Policy which was recognised by UN and the US. Third, it is official departure of the US from its stated policy and commitment given to China in 1979. Four, the US wants to turn Taiwan into a new military garrison to attack China like what Japan did during the World War-II. Therefore, China must take this visit seriously. Now, China is free to take any decision or action as the US itself has broken the commitment. A wider community of countries (160) endorsed this point of view. Pakistan also echoed the same and explicitly stated that Pakistan is staunch supporter of One China Policy and it will do whatever Pakistan can to safeguard the core interests of iron brother.

However, the US is not listening to sane voices. G-7 has joined the floor by issuing a provocative statement which further complicated the situation. Consequently, China announced that it will take strongest countermeasures.

China has deployed the Sun Tzu philosophy which says “subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. In pursuance of this philosophy, China is right now applying non-kinetic tools to achieve the goal. It will not hesitate to apply kinetic tools, if required. It is pertinent to highlight here that China seems committed to honouring her words which is quite clear from the statement of Hua Cunying on August 3. She said, “China will keep its words, just have patience” and there is no room or option for China to compromise on the legitimate rights of China“.

China has already started taking actions. On August 3, China introduced trade sanctions for Taiwan. China has also sanctioned Ms Pelosi, her family and introduced eight countermeasures for the US, i.e. cancelling China-US Theatre Commanders Talk, China-US Defence Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT), China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings, suspending China-US cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants and suspending China-US cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters, China-US cooperation against transnational crimes, China-US counternarcotics cooperation and China-US talks on climate change.

On kinetic side, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has started full-scale exercise on six-sides of Taiwan. The PLA is on high alert and is ready to take any action, at any level. It seems that PLA is preparing itself to go for reunification of Taiwan. It is apparent from the statement of Taiwan that now PLA is in a position to close air space and sea for Taiwan.

The situation has stirred tension in the region. Regional governments are extremely worried. They fear situation can deteriorate further, and there is a possibility of hot conflict. If conflict breaks out, it will be a bad news for world. World is already going through multiple challenges, including COVID-19, Russian-Ukraine crisis and high inflation. Inflation is playing havoc with economic and social structures of countries. The GDP of US is on contraction which has created fear of recession.

In this context, a new conflict will shake the global system and impacts will be beyond imagination. As we know, China is a major trading and economic partner of world and the US is the biggest economy of world. So, a conflict between two major economies will shatter the economies of the world. It will spur a new era of economic meltdown and inflation which will be beyond the capacity of common citizens to absorb. Second, the hot conflict will not stay in the region. It will expand all over the world and it may be the first time that hot conflict reaches the US. Let’s hope sanity prevail. World should not get involved in another conflict as plate is already full.