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The Equation of Evolving Security in the USA, China, and Taiwan Triangle

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The Asia-Pacific Region is a region where the struggles for power and influence of the new global system are shifting. As a matter of fact, it can be said that the fault lines of global security pass through this region. There are some major reasons for this. It can be argued that the presence of a large nuclear power such as North Korea in this region is an important reason for the situation in question. However, it can be said that the crisis over Taiwan also played a decisive role in making the region one of the regions where the global security equation is most fragile.

In this context, it can be said that the tension over Taiwan is one of the most critical issues in the global influence struggle of the United States (USA) and China, and that both states attach special importance to Taiwan in their global struggle. Because China also calls Taiwan its red line, which causes the USA and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to use this region as a pressure tool against Beijing.

On the other hand, the visit of the former speaker of the US House of Representatives., Nancy Pelosi, who is in the third place hierarchically in the domestic policy of the USA, to Taiwan in August 2022[1] significantly increased the regional tension. Because, after the said visit, China held many drills in and around the Taiwan Strait.[2]

In this context, the allegations that the current Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, will visit Taiwan,[3] caused the regional tension to escalate again. The USA’s repetition of such a move, which triggered regional tensions when it was first made, can be read as the USA and NATO want to increase the pressure on China. Because, it can be argued that the Western alliance wanted to surround China and Washington implemented the same strategy against Beijing, which had a positive result by applying it to the Soviet Union in the Second World War.[4]

Moreover, China has objections to the planned meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and McCarthy. At this point, it is known that Beijing conveyed its complaints to Washington regarding the meeting in question. At the press conference held on March 8, 2023, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning stated that he was disturbed by the US and West’s plans on Taiwan.[5]

At the same time, he said that the Beijing administration made serious statements to the United States and that he expected an explanation from Washington in return. In addition to all these, Mao said that Taiwan is at the very center of China’s fundamental interests and emphasized that this issue is a “red line” that should not be crossed in the relations between Washington and Beijing. Also at this meeting, Mao underlined that China strongly opposes any kind of trade and relations between the USA and Taiwan, as well as any contact with the powers that Taiwan calls independence forces.[6]

In this context, it can be said that the Asia-Pacific Region is the scene of a very strong and critical struggle for influence between the USA and China. Although it is known that one of the main areas of this rivalry is the South China Sea, the Taiwan Issue is also one of the points where the said struggle is felt intensely. At this point, it is known that the USA follows many different strategies in line with its goals of containing China.

It is noteworthy that tensions increased especially after Pelosi’s visit. In this context, it can be said that the USA is considering repeating the same move. It can be said that the visit will provoke China, as Beijing sees Taipei as its red line. At the same time, this situation and Washington’s continued actions may cause China to accelerate its move to unite with Taiwan in the future.

As a result, the deepening and expansion of regional-global crises, especially in Taiwan, seems inevitable unless the USA, the West Side or China take any steps back or call for diplomacy. Because Beijing has a very sensitive attitude towards Taiwan. Washington, on the other hand, increases its strategy to contain China through Taiwan and the pressure it puts on Beijing with each passing day.


[1] “Nancy Pelosi Departs Taiwan, Ending Contentious Visit That Angered China”, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/02/nancy-pelosi-taiwan-visit/, (Date of Access: 21.03.2023).

[2] “China Begins Live-Fire Military Drills Around Taiwan”, NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-begins-live-fire-drills-taiwan-pelosi-visit-rcna41461, (Date of Access: 21.03.2023).

[3] House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Plans to Meet Taiwan’s President In The U.S., Sources Say”, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/07/kevin-mccarthy-plans-to-meet-taiwans-president-in-the-us-sources.html, (Date of Access: 21.03.2023).

[4] “Cold War History”, History, https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cold-war-history, (Date of Access: 21.03.2023).

[5] “China Objects to Possible Talks Between Taiwan President and US House Speaker”, NHK News, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230308_31/, (Date of Access: 21.03.2023).

[6] Ibid.

Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan Gülten graduated from Yalova University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations in 2021 with his graduation thesis titled "American Foreign Policy" and from Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty, Department of Foreign Trade in 2023. Gülten, who is currently pursuing her Master's Degree with Thesis at Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations, was a student at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at Lodz University for a semester within the framework of the Erasmus+ program during her undergraduate education. Working as an Asia-Pacific Research Assistant at ANKASAM, Gülten's main areas of interest are American Foreign Policy, Asia-Pacific and International Law. Gülten is fluent in English.