Biden admin, DPP authority want to make use of each other via 'Summit for Democracy,' but with no concrete gains for Taiwan
Published: Nov 25, 2021 12:35 AM

Taiwan Photo: Unsplash

Taiwan Photo: Unsplash


China has expressed firm opposition to a US move to invite the secessionist DPP authority which rules China's Taiwan to participate in a US-initiated "Summit for Democracy," after the US State Department released a list of "participants" which included the Taiwan region with other sovereign countries. 

Analysts said on Wednesday that the Biden administration and the DPP authority are trying to make use of each other for political interests, but in fact Washington offers nothing concrete to benefit the people on the island. The US invitation just serves the conspiracy of Taiwan secessionists - to ruin any possible recovery of intense China-US ties, and to ruin a potential improvement in China-US cooperation which is desperately demanded by the Biden administration at the moment. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a routine press conference on Wednesday that Taiwan has no other status in international law except as part of China.  "Those offering platform to 'Taiwan independence' forces will find themselves in an embarrassing place. Those playing with fire with 'Taiwan independence' forces will end up getting burned." 

As to the "Summit for Democracy", Zhao said, "we have repeatedly stated our position. Democracy is a common value of all humanity, not the patent of a few countries. What the US has done shows exactly that it is only using democracy as a cover and tool to advance its geostrategic goals, suppress other countries, divide the world, and serve its selfish agenda of maintaining hegemony." 

Its acts of practicing bloc politics and inciting confrontation under the guise of democracy are reincarnation of the Cold War mentality and have been widely questioned and rejected by visionary people of the international community, Zhao remarked.

China's response shows that the US invitation to Taiwan is a provocative move challenging China' sovereignty because it is an official invitation issued by the US State Department, experts said. 

Although Washington was careful in the wording, using the word "participants" rather than "countries" to describe the entities it has invited, as it fears of provoking the Chinese mainland but still wants to keep playing "Taiwan card," if Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen attends the "summit" alongside other sovereign countries' leaders, the Chinese mainland will take tough actions, analysts said. 

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that what kind of form the retaliation takes depends on how provocative the DPP is, who from Taiwan shows up at the "summit" and what they will say. Severe consequences could include PLA military aircraft flying across the island of Taiwan and escalated military tension in the region. 

Too excited  

Secessionists and pro-secessionists on the island of Taiwan, from the DPP authority to the island's media outlets, seem obsessed with hyping the "solid partnership" between the island and the US. 

The spokesperson of the Taiwan regional leader's office said that the US invitation shows that the US and the island of Taiwan are "real friends." A DPP secessionist lawmaker even claimed that the recognition of "Taiwan independence" is the international mainstream.  

Some Taiwan media outlets even hyped the rumor that US President Joe Biden "will visit Taiwan," although Biden has openly stated that the US does not support "Taiwan independence" after his recent virtual meeting with China's top leader.

Although the US' intention of containing China through the "Taiwan card" is obvious, it does not mean that Washington is so stupid as to pick a new fight with Beijing on the Taiwan question, especially when the Biden administration wants badly more cooperation with China, observers said.  

Unfortunately, the Taiwan DPP authority has once again distorted the US invitation on the matter of the "summit for democracy," and used it to exaggerate US support for Taiwan secessionism and aggravate the contradictions between the Chinese mainland and the US, but this kind of trick will eventually accelerate the doomsday of the DPP, experts noted. 

Wang Jianmin, a senior cross-Straits expert at Minnan Normal University in East China's Fujian Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the US wants to strike a balance, as it does not want to offend the Chinese mainland too much, but at the same time, it wants to show it will not stop playing "the Taiwan card." This includes calling the entities it invited "participants" rather than "countries."

The excitement of Taiwan secessionists over the invitation reflects the Taiwan DPP authority's difficult international situation, Wang said.

The US knows it is difficult to boost Taiwan's participation in existing mainstream international organizations under the UN framework, so it is using the "summit" to create a new but useless clique to comfort Taiwan secessionists, Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"The 'summit' is not a normal mechanism, it is more of a gesture, but it cannot bestow practical benefits onto the DPP authority," Liu said.  

The expert said the US should understand that any new provocative attempt on the Taiwan question will just ruin the efforts it has made to build dialogue and fix ties with China, as it currently needs cooperation with China desperately. 

Being used?

If the Biden administration is being used by the DPP authority on the matter of the "summit" and eventually ruins ties with China once again, then "the US image as a superpower would just be a joke" and decision-makers in Washington would expose "how stupid they are." The "summit" would be the lowest political event held by the US in history, said a Beijing-based expert on international relations who asked for anonymity. 

The expert said that participation in the summit for democracy will not change Taiwan's international position or its role as "a pawn used by the US on the chessboard," and if the US one day realizes that the Taiwan DPP authority and the Taiwan secessionists are a group of "troublemakers" who are trying to hijack the US to serve their own dangerous secessionist goal, they will be abandoned any time, and the US will turn to the KMT, the major opposition party on the island, to ease tension with the Chinese mainland in the future.

According to Taiwan media reports on Tuesday, the KMT is preparing to open a representative office in the US, and its chairman Eric Chu plans to visit the US next spring.  

'Friendship' or a joke?

Although the US' invitation to the DPP authority to attend the "summit" has comforted many secessionists on the island, Taiwan is actually being treated as a servant to US hegemony with an extremely low-down status, yet the US does not need to offer anything concrete as it can get anything it wants from the island and force the island to buy whatever it wants to sell, experts noted, stressing that there is no mutual respect between them at all.

Two months before the 2021 "US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue," the Biden administration pressured automakers and chip companies, including Taiwan-based TSMC, to provide confidential data including sales, raw materials and equipment purchases and client information amid the ongoing semiconductor crisis that has forced cuts to US auto production.

Aside from TSMC, the DPP authority also agreed to import ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US, as a premise of the so-called TIFA talks.

On November 4, Republican senators introduced a bill dubbed the Taiwan Deterrence Act, seeking to give $2 billion a year in military grants and loans to Taiwan until 2032, which means the US wants to ensure Taiwan continues to buy huge amounts of American weapons.