Provocative Visit of US Admiral to Taiwan
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
In mid-November, 97-year-old Henry Kissinger warned that “(u)nless there is some basis for (Sino/US) cooperative action, the world will slide into a catastrophe comparable to World War I.”
War between two nations able to hit back hard against any adversary would be madness.
While unlikely between the US and China, it’s possible. If occurs, it would be launched by Washington, not Beijing.
At the same time, repeated US provocative actions against China pushes the envelope toward breaching bilateral relations.
The latest Trump regime provocation came with an unannounced visit by Pentagon Admiral Michael Studeman to Taiwan.
He’s currently US Indo-Pacific Command director of intelligence.
In response to his November 22 arrival in Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the following:
“China firmly opposes any form of official exchange and military contact between the US and the Taiwan region.”
“This stance is clear and consistent.”
“We urge the US to fully grasp the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques…immediately halt(ing) official exchanges and contacts in any form and handle Taiwan-related issues in a prudent and proper manner.”
“China will make legitimate and necessary responses in light of the developments.”
“China consistently opposes official exchanges between the US and the Taiwan region and have lodged solemn representations with the US side.”
We urge the US to…stop official exchanges and contacts with the Taiwan region and stop elevating its relationship with the Taiwan region in substance so as to avoid serious damage to China-US relations and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Former US war department official in charge of relations with China and Taiwan Drew Thompson called Studeman’s visit “unusual and provocative.”
It pushes Beijing to be more hardline toward Taiwan, he believes, adding:
It’s a “sure-fire way to make (Biden/Harris) think twice about future visits.”
It “makes (their) future…decisions more difficult, as they will perceive greater risks and downsides to future high-level visits, offsetting perceived benefits.”
Former Taiwan-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace official Douglas Paal said he “know(s) of no precedent for (Studeman’s) visit.”
Yet former Trump regime assistant war secretary for Asia Randall Schriver said the Pentagon sent a number of unannounced high-ranking US military officers to Taiwan earlier.
As of November 24, Taiwan’s foreign ministry officially remained silent on Studeman’s visit.
Its last press release was dated November 14 on an unrelated issue.
Asked whether Studeman visited Taiwan, a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment.
According to Reuters, two Taiwanese sources confirmed his November 22 arrival on condition of anonymity.
Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said interactions with the US are increasing, adding:
“At the invitation of Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (Andrew Wheeler) will come to Taiwan, to have bilateral discussions on international cooperation on environmental protection issues.”
He’ll be the fourth US official to visit the territory since August.
US HHS Secretary Alex Azar arrived on August 9 — followed on September 17 by Trump regime Under-Secretary of State Keith Krach.
On Monday, a statement by Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the following:
“There are frequent interactions between Taiwan and the United States, and we welcome the visit by the US official (referring to Studeman, but leaving him unamed), but as this itinerary has not been made public, the foreign ministry has no further explanation or comment on his visit based on mutual trust between the two sides.”
Flight-tracking Plane Finder’s website showed an unmarked private aircraft arriving at Taipei’s Songshan Airport from Hawaii, US Indo-Pacific Command headquarters.
According to China’s Global Times (GT), visits by Studeman and other US officials reflects Pompeo’s view that Taiwan “has not been part of China (sic).”
His remark defied official Beijing policy.
Since the early 1980s, the US accepted China’s “one country, two systems” policy toward Taiwan — ahead of eventual reunification of the territory with the mainland.
Trump earlier saying “(e)verything is under negotiation including one China” didn’t go down well in Beijing.
Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded, saying this issue is “nonnegotiable.”
One China alone exists, Taiwan an inalienable part of it, he stressed, adding:
The People’s Republic of China is its only legitimate government, “an internationally recognized fact, and no one can change it.”
GT editors called Trump’s Taiwan agenda “madness…Upgrad(ing) ties (aims to) pile more pressure on Beijing.”
In response, its “military drills (are) a combat exercise.”
Reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is one of Beijing’s “fundamental goals.”
It remains to be seen how Biden/Harris handle this issue.
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“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”