The current era is witnessing unprecedented tensions between the United States and China, especially after Washington’s insistence on intervening in the Sino-Taiwanese crisis. The latest of these tensions was the signing of a trade agreement between Washington and Taipei on June 1 with the aim of strengthening economic relations between the two sides.
The trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan came at a time when the conflict between Beijing and Washington is intensifying, and it coincided with the announcement by the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense that four military aircraft and three Chinese warships have been monitored in the vicinity of Taiwan, in addition to the monitoring of the transit of three Chinese ships, including the aircraft carrier Shandong, in the Taiwan Strait.
In response, the Taiwanese army sent combat patrol planes and ships to respond to the Chinese escalation, in addition to deploying missile systems to monitor the movements of Chinese aircraft, as well as arming drones to serve as an advanced defense system in the face of any possible Chinese attacks.
The capabilities of the drones that Taiwan now possesses vary between attack drones and others for espionage and surveillance, early warning, and anti-submarine, as Taipei is relying on drones to break any Chinese naval blockade of the island.
Repercussions of the agreement
Mahmoud Efendi, a researcher specializing in international relations, confirmed that the agreement between the United States and Taiwan has many repercussions, as China expressed its concern about the 21st century trade initiative with Taiwan and also called on the United States to stop official exchanges and refrain from concluding agreements with the Taiwanese side that would support Taipei’s independence under the guise of trade.
In an exclusive statement to the Reference, Efendi pointed out that China sees the American insistence on rapprochement with Taiwan and interference in its affairs as a “cat’s paw” to constantly annoy Beijing and limit its influence in the region. Therefore, the message of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu at the Shangri-La Dialogue was strongly worded, as he affirmed that his country’s army would not give up the use of force in Taiwan and that the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seeking to obtain the support of other countries for the island’s independence would not be tolerated. The United States also acknowledged the confrontation and escalation by announcing that it would not back down from supporting Taiwan and giving it American-made fighter jets, in an implicit message that Washington would not abandon Taipei. It also warned against attempts to annex Taiwan by force, as this step would have devastating results.
Strengthening military alliances
Efendi added that the next stage will witness intense attempts by China and the United States to strengthen their military alliances separately, as Washington is coordinating with Japan and Australia to protect Taiwan from any sudden Chinese attack, while Beijing is conducting extensive military exercises and maneuvers with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam within the framework of efforts to strengthen Chinese military diplomacy in the Southeast Asian region to enhance peace and security by focusing on various traditional and non-traditional threats, and most of all, its military cooperation with the Russian bear by conducting periodic air strikes with Moscow.
Efendi stressed that the aforementioned information portends an escalation of the conflict between Washington and Beijing, although the intensity of the tension will not reach the level of armed conflict, as both powers know very well that war would have great costs for the entire world, and there would be no winner no matter how long it takes, as the winner would also lose.