Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
May 2, 2023
Today, the world is dangerous enough with many hot spots where killings and destruction are daily routines. The war in Ukraine has no end in sight with European economy has been severely weakened. However, war mongers are hyping another war already: Taiwan.
One of today’s headline alarmingly reads: U.S. allies could play key roles in a U.S.-China war over Taiwan “A war between the U.S. and China over Taiwan would be a nightmare scenario for America’s allies in the Pacific, but it’s becoming increasingly clear what roles they might play if one breaks out.” However, it is generally recognized that any war between the US and China, the world Number One and Number Two economy, will be a global disaster and a nightmare for everyone around. The nightmare scenario will not be limited to America’s allies in the Pacific.
The report laid out the “key roles” U.S. allies could play. Specifically, it assigned “key roles” for the following nations: The Philippines, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. For example, it stated that “U.S. military facilities in Okinawa have served as staging grounds for U.S. operations from Vietnam to Afghanistan and would likely play a central role in any Taiwan crisis — making Japan complicit from Beijing’s perspective even if it took no other action.”
This implies that the US will “defend” Taiwan with military power. But there is no reason to assume that PRC will fight with the US and allies only on the ground of Taiwan or nearby sea and air. The One-China principle or policy defines that Taiwan is part of China, according to China’s constitution then any foreign military force entering Taiwan without permission is an attack on China’s sovereignty and China could strike back with full force. Thus, Japan and the US homeland will not be off limits. It means nothing less than another world war.
Suer enough, US had effectively used Japan as staging grounds for the Korean war, the Vietnam War, and the Afghanistan war. The end result of these US adventures is on the record. The current status of China ranks only next to the US globally, the combined national strength of South Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan is no where near China. An all-out US-China war will only end with a global disaster of unknown magnitude. If nuclear weapons were to be used, then it could also mean the end of human civilization. Should all these war mongers be realistic?
Specifically, has anyone learned anything from the US-Russia Proxy war in Ukraine? It is easy to conclude that the limited warfare on the ground of Ukraine hurts the Ukrainians the most. Even after the war is over, the reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine will be very costly and time consuming. The suffering of Ukrainians will not end…It is an irony that China’s President Xi is actively engaged as a peace maker, he has been well accepted by the Russia and Ukraine.
More interesting is that almost everyone in China and Taiwan is actively invoking peace and denouncing any war. Even the US government is promoting (and defending) peace over the Taiwan strait. So:
- There is no place for “outside” war mongers for Taiwan.
- Many US foreign wars were based on the fallacy of US domestic politics or policy, e.g., the invasion of Iraq. The US should not exclusively blame other nations for her domestic problems.
- The world already faces tough challenges such as the threat of global climate changes, hunger, and poverty, as well as public health etc. The US should provide solutions and supports as a responsible global leader rather than focus on competing with China.