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[Cross Straits Review 459]
Since the beginning of this year, Tsai Ing-wen has taken confrontation with the mainland as the main axis of elections and has continuously challenged cross-strait relations, making the situation on both sides of the strait even more severe and complicated. Relying on the majority of public opinion agencies, the DPP has revised the "Criminal Law" and "Regulations on Cross-Strait People's Relations" at the beginning of the year, and revised the so-called "Five Laws of the National Security" by the middle of the year. The "enemy", "enemy" and "foreign hostile forces" have exerted their brains and exerted all their strength in the struggle against the mainland.
The DPP's confrontation with the mainland is partly due to their "Taiwan independence" nature. On the other hand, it is also an inevitable choice made by them when they see the trend of Sino-US competition and try to seize the period of "Taiwan independence" strategic opportunities.
Since US President Trump took office, structural changes have taken place in Sino-US relations. At the end of 2017, the United States issued the "National Security Strategy" report, which officially defined China as a "revisionist country" and ranked as the United States' first competitor. China's development has become a national security issue in the United States, and "containment" of China's development into the United States has become China. The keynote of strategy. On the one hand, the United States is trying to defeat China's economy with a "trade war", and on the other hand it is trying to weave a "Indo-Pacific strategy" to trap China. China-US competition has long transcended relations between the two countries and has become a common issue in the world.
When countries around the world are worried about Sino-US competition, the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-wen ’s authorities are happy. DPP Tsai Ing-wen argues that the "Indo-Pacific strategy" has activated Taiwan's "unsinkable aircraft carrier" and that Sino-US competition is a strategic opportunity for "Taiwan independence." On the one hand, Tsai Yingwen actively responded to the United States trade war with China, and on the other hand, he actively requested to join the "Indo-Pacific Strategy", and pitifully expressed his willingness to stand at the forefront of confronting the mainland like the canary in the early coal mines to test the gas concentration. The strategy of DPP Tsai Ing-wen is that "Taiwan independence" must confront the mainland, against the mainland must rely on the United States, and relying on the United States must show Taiwan's weight in the "Indo-Pacific strategy." Fighting against the mainland is both a "vote" and a manifestation of Taiwan's weight. Therefore, Tsai Ing-wen really looked like a "canary" and kept jumping towards the mainland.
The United States certainly knows what Taiwan means to China, and playing the "Taiwan card" has also become a landscape in the Sino-US game. Since last year, the United States Congress has continuously issued the "Taiwan Travel Law", "Taiwan Guarantee Law" and "Taipei Act" to provide high-level visits to the United States and Taiwan, mutual suspension of US-Taiwan warships, US "arms sales" to Taiwan, and interference in the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and China Legal basis. On the one hand, Tsai Ing-wen constantly expressed his "thank you", and on the other hand, he paid "protection fees" for high-priced military purchases, and even more vigorously opposed the mainland.
However, the "Indo-Pacific strategy" based on the "Cold War" thinking is less clever than the "Island Chain" strategy during the "Cold War" period. The difference is that, in order to cope with China's increasingly strong "broken network" capability, the "Indo-Pacific Strategy" network needs to be more widely woven, more alliance countries need to consume more resources. Because of this, the United States is becoming increasingly incapable of weaving the "Indo-Pacific" net.
Last month, the 35th ASEAN Summit and East Asian Cooperation Leadership Series were held in Bangkok, Thailand. This summit has two important results. One is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Although India has decided to withdraw, ASEAN and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New 15 countries have decided to accelerate the progress. The other is that the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) consultations are accelerating. These two results show that ASEAN is unwilling to become a pawn of the United States, and it is even more unwilling to choose a sideline between China and the United States. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an exclusive interview that if Asian countries want to choose a sideline between China and the United States, they will be very unhappy, because it will be a painful choice. "If you ask them to choose a sideline, and you must talk with the largest trading partner (China) to cut off relations, I think you are embarrassing these countries. " The cold reception of the United States marketing the "Indo-Pacific strategy" at the meeting is the best illustration.
Don't underestimate the attitude of ASEAN countries. The "Indo-Pacific strategy" of the United States must start with the US-Japan-Australia alliance, use the South China Sea as the starting point, and India as the restraint. Seizing the South China Sea, China will be trapped in strategic passiveness in terms of energy, transportation, trade, and even military related to strategic counterattacks, which can effectively curb China's development. Therefore, ASEAN is not choosing sides between China and the United States, and further strengthening cooperation with China means that the United States' "Indo-Pacific Strategy" has broken a big hole in key parts. It can even be said that this network has not been woven at all. Although Taiwan is also a node of the "Indo-Pacific Strategy", it is no longer able to play a pivotal role as the mainland becomes more and more powerful. Compared with the South China Sea, Taiwan is simple and fragile, and the mainland can better use various strengths to solve it. problem. To the United States, Taiwan is really a canary. This is why the United States will continue to send warships to the South China Sea to "freedom to navigate," while giving Taiwan only a variety of bills that are not good news. The South China Sea is too important. The boss has to go into battle. Taiwan can abandon it and encourage it to be a cannon fodder.
In fact, it is not just that ASEAN countries are unwilling to choose sides between China and the United States. Sino-Japanese relations in East Asia are constantly improving, China-Japan-ROK free trade area negotiations have continued to make progress, and Australia has many voices in China. Although India does not join the RCEP for the time being, China-India relations are also cooperating in various fields. China is also a difficult movement. To put it plainly, the world has already entered the era of globalization. No one is willing to follow the old path of the "Cold War." The world needs the United States and China. When the world embraces China, does Taiwan still want to be the canary against the mainland?
That is a dead end. Even if the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-wen wants to go, I think the people of Taiwan will not agree! (China Taiwan Network Contributing Authors: and X)
(This article is a submitted work and does not represent the views of China Taiwan Network.)
[Responsible editor: Zhao Jing]