Liz Truss meddling with Taiwan question only shows UK's lack of strength
Published: May 29, 2022 08:41 PM
British Secretary for Foreign Affairs Liz Truss is pictured during a meeting with her Czech counterpart on May 27, 2022 in Prague. Photo: AFP

British Secretary for Foreign Affairs Liz Truss is pictured during a meeting with her Czech counterpart on May 27, 2022 in Prague. Photo: AFP

"We must ensure that Taiwan is also able to defend itself," UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said on Friday after a meeting with the Czech foreign minister. Weeks ago, while delivering a speech on UK's foreign policy, Truss urged NATO to protect the island of Taiwan.

In fact, apart from the Taiwan question, the British politician has continued to mechanically repeat Washington's stance on other China-related topics, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

According to Chinese military expert Song Zhongping, Truss is a far-right British politician who always attempts to show that the UK is still a great power that hopes to cooperate with the US to maintain the "world order" they have built and prevent other countries from changing it.

However, the era of UK Empire has long ended, and the country's power now is much weakened despite its strong will to continue playing an important role in the global political arena. As a result, London has chosen to voice its opinion on many major international issues to show and prove its presence.

In particular, London has already shown its ambition in strengthening its presence in the Indo-Pacific region. This way, it can involve itself more in regional affairs and might have more say over them.?

The most notable example was that the country announced in July 2021 that it would station two new patrol vessels in the Indo-Pacific for at least the next five years. Later, on September 27, a frigate of the UK's?HMS Queen Elizabeth?carrier strike group passed through the Taiwan Straits for the first time since 2008, an act of provocation in the eyes of China.

The US held high-level talks with the UK in early March on how to strengthen cooperation to reduce the chances of war with China over the island of Taiwan, the Financial Times reported in early May, citing sources familiar with the matter. A British official claimed the meeting was the "highest-level" and "most significant" discussion between the two countries on Taiwan so far.

It seems Washington and its little acolyte London have coordinated their position on the Taiwan question: The two countries continue to show their "goodwill" in enhancing ties with the island while strengthening their military deterrence to China.

The UK is getting a kick out of pretending to be an influential global power, however, its strength already doesn't allow it to make any substantive action.

"Just take a look at the ongoing Russia-Ukraine military conflict. The UK wants to encourage other countries to confront Russia, but it is afraid to take any step itself. The same logic can be applied to how the UK deals with China," noted Song.

The UK clearly is unable to provoke China on its own. And it perfectly knows the serious consequences it will have to face from China if it promises to directly engage in the Taiwan question, so it dares not commit to defending Taiwan. Instead, it only suggests that NATO protect Taiwan or it encourages the island to protect itself. This is also a way to save face for a paper tiger nation.

The Taiwan question is not very relevant to UK's interests, and London cannot play a role of any kind in its resolution. The UK's involvement in the question will only complicate it, further stir up trouble in the region and threaten regional security.

"The UK is just a small European country with a small heart and small strength. We don't need to become nervous because of London's frantic speech, because countries like the UK tend to say more and do less. Sometimes they are completely incapable of doing anything," Song commented.

"These countries had better not challenge great powers like China and Russia, because the losses will outweigh the gains and these countries may even be hoisted by their own petard. They should realize that following the US to contain others, or suppress them in extreme ways, could only have themselves embarrassed and will lead to failure," he said.