Despite desperate attempts, US won’t allow Taiwan to drag it down
Published: Dec 14, 2021 10:28 PM
Audrey Tang Feng Photo: AFP

Audrey Tang Feng Photo: AFP

The video feed of Audrey Tang Feng, a member of the administrative authority of Taiwan, was cut during her presentation at the "Summit for Democracy" on Friday.

According to Reuters, this happened after a map that labeled the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan with different colors was shown in Tang's slide show.At least 14 US senators and congress people have paid a visit to the island of Taiwan this year so far. Three US senators - Tammy Duckworth, Chris Coons, and Dan Sullivan - visited the island in June. Last month, six US lawmakers, including Senators John Cornyn, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Crapo, Mike Lee, and Representative Jake Ellzey, paid the island a surprise visit. And a few weeks later, another five US lawmakers, Mark Takano, Elissa Slotkin, Colin Allred, Sara Jacobs, and Nancy Mace arrived in Taiwan for a one-day visit. 

However, none of those US politicians who claimed to support Taiwan island has as of now publicly said anything about the incident of Tang's video feed out. Only radical politicians like senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton spoke on the issue on their social media.

Despite the political show made by those lawmakers by visiting the island of Taiwan, clearly, paying a visit to the island does not mean that they support "Taiwan secession," or that they, at least in their public statement, want to change the one-China policy. 

Tang's video feed is also Taiwan's open attempt at challenging the one-China principle, which has deeply irritated the US officials as reported. Washington worries that if it did not take action, Beijing would regard this as collusion between the US and Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority, or even an act carried out with US support. It is supposed that the majority of members of Congress hold the same or at least similar concerns and thus refrained from placing extreme blame on what the White House did. 

Since both Cruz and Cotton are Republicans, they might have the intention to take this opportunity to attack the Democrats out of their partisan interests. But we should still be aware that there is a bipartisan pro-Taiwan group in the Congress, and the words and actions of the group would not change greatly no matter who is in office. 

The US explained that a "technical issue" had caused the video to be cut. This received boos from many netizens but was accepted by Taiwan authorities. As the US has become the only support of the DPP authority, the party which seeks "Taiwan secession" has to completely rely on the US and dares not complain it publicly. The so-called technical issue is only an excuse helping Taiwan to extricate itself from the awkward situation.

Although the US allows and supports Taiwan island to make moves to confront the Chinese mainland, the island cannot play dirty with the US and cross the line because that will only damage US interests.

Moreover, The US has limits in its support of Taiwan. Washington will not allow a China-US military conflict to break out, nor will it allow Taiwan island to seek independence. Once the limit is exceeded, the US will not just let Taiwan turn the tables and extort the US. Cutting Tang's video feed is a warning to Taiwan about its desperate attempt to drag the US down with it: It will never happen.

The author is deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn