‘Skirting the Edges of War?’ – Biden ‘A Thorn in China’s Side’ after Vowing to Supply Arms to Taiwan

In an unprecedented move, the United States has vowed to help protect Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. Has Ukraine just been a warm-up for something much bigger brewing? Here is the whole story.

Biden Selling Weapons to Taiwan

In late August, the Biden administration notified Congress that they had approved the sale of military equipment to Taiwan.

It’s a move usually reserved for sovereign nations and one that definitely perked up the ears of war-watchers around the world.

At issue is the ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of the island nation in East Asia.

Officially, the Republic of China, Taiwan, has long been a hotbed of political dispute.

Ruled by China

Specifically, the Chinese government subscribes to the One China Principle.

That idea holds that both mainland China and Taiwan are part of the People’s Republic of China or RPC.

On the other hand, most in Taiwan consider their country to be its own entity – a sovereign nation on its own.

Of course, the RPC is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, which has positioned them as strong allies of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Closed to Outside Influence

A holdover from the Cold War era, modern China shares much in common with the former Soviet Union.

Aside from being a communist government, China is somewhat closed off in its communications with the outside world.

And, like the Soviet Union and present-day Russia, China has definite ideas about which lands belong to them.

China President Xi Jinping has long held that Taiwan is part of China. Part of his reunification plan includes bringing the island nation under official Chinese rule. 

Using Force

Notably, the communist leader has said that using force to meet that objective is not off the table.

If all that sounds familiar, it should. It’s an eerie parallel to the rhetoric and actions Putin took in the months leading up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

One main difference was that Ukraine was already a recognized sovereign nation but one that wasn’t part of NATO.

That meant the U.S. could not directly aid Ukraine without effectively declaring war on Russia.

Skirting the Edges of War

So, America has skirted around the edges of the current European war.

But with Taiwan’s national status in question, the Biden administration sent a clear message to China by opening up the possibility of supplying military equipment.

Citing the need to maintain peace in the region, and particularly in the Taiwan Strait, the press release noted that the U.S. is selling arms to Taiwan so it could maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”

Not surprisingly, China is not happy with this development. The powerhouse’s Foreign Ministry said in various statements that they strongly opposed the move.

A Thorn in China’s Side

More telling, the ministry said that the U.S. actions had already directly harmed China’s national security.

While that might be a premature judgment, the Biden administration’s message to Congress made it clear that the scope of U.S. aid could be broad.

According to the memo, equipment on the table includes coastal and air defense systems, ballistic missiles, drones, training, soldier-level gear, and even cyber defense tools.

It may take years for some of that equipment to reach Taiwan. But the thorn in China’s side was immediate.

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