China the bully
Bullies cannot be handled with kid-gloves. India must take note too. The visit by Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan on Wednesday created history. This is the first time in a quarter of a century that a high-profile US dignitary visits Taiwan, the breakaway republic that China says is its very own. Threats from China to the US about retaliation were ignored by the Joe Biden Administration, which boldly gave the green signal to Pelosi’s visit as part of her Asia tour. It was time to show China its place – and the Biden administration has asserted itself. China is threatening to take action against Taiwan. In the immediate aftermath of the Pelosi visit, China sent in a couple of drones in another violation of the Taiwanese airspace – just as Pakistan occasionally does with India. The formation of fighter jets that provided the security cover for Pelosi’s aircraft on Wednesday demonstrated the US resolve to take on China.
India in recent years has experienced the bullying of China and its president Xi Jinping, across Ladakh as also in the north-eastern sector in attempts at nibbling away more of Indian land. China and Xi attempted the same with Bhutan, marching PLA into territories owned by the kingdom. Timely help from the Indian army in Doklam thwarted the Chinese design on Bhutan and further advancement was halted. China sought to encircle India in the seas through unacceptable maritime alliances with Sri Lanka and Pakistan and it tried to court Bangladesh as well. The red nation is seeking to establish supremacy over the seas and the US is resisting this with help from India as well. The evil designs of China are fairly well-known to the world at large.
Mao Zedong’s Communists defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists in a civil war in 1949 and took power in China. KMT fled to the southern island called Taiwan and set up its government there. A year later, it won recognition from the US. In later years, diplomacy required the US to accept the One China policy that encompassed Taiwan too, yet Americans maintained military and trade relations with Taiwan. While China also eventually started trade relations with Taiwan, the present government of the Democratic Progressive Party, which works for an Independent Taiwan, has distanced itself further from China. Xi is threatening to unify Taiwan with China. However, with strong US and Western military backing for Taiwan, this is easier said than done. The misadventure by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine might tempt Xi to think twice before acting.