The Taiwan Plan of the USA that Forces China to Make a Choice

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It is known that the regional security equations have started to shift to the Asia-Pacific Region and the region has started to become the main center of the new global competition. As a matter of fact, there are many situations that can be called problematic in terms of security in the region. For example, one of them is North Korea’s nuclear tests with a ballistic missile. Another is the historical claims on Dokdo and Takeshima Islands between South Korea and Japan. Again, the disagreements about the past between Seoul and Tokyo can be evaluated in this context. However, China’s increasing claims on the South China Sea and the struggle that New Zealand and Australia are trying to compete with Beijing in this region can also be evaluated within the same context.

In addition to all these, the Taiwan Crisis and China’s pursuit of unification with Taiwan constitute the most important and closest fault line in the region in terms of security. Because neither the West nor China is taking a step back in this regard.

It can be said that both sides perceive the Taiwan Issue from different perspectives and evaluate them for different purposes. For this reason, it can be predicted that the crisis in question will not be resolved in the near future, both because of the differences in purpose and because Taipei is a critical pillar of the global influence struggle between Washington and Beijing.

Moreover, it can be stated that the United States (USA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are trying to pressure China over Taiwan and force it to make a decision. It can be argued that international law has an important place in this force. As a matter of fact, as the first argument, it can be said that the West will continue to use the elements that will trigger tension in the region. Because on February 28, 2023, a US reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Taiwan Strait, despite the reactions from Beijing. Then, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Eastern Operations Command, accused Washington of escalating tensions and said that the Washington administration was jeopardizing peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait by disrupting regional stabilization. Afterwards, in the statement made by the US 7th Fleet, it was stated that the US would continue to carry out air and sea activities wherever international law allowed.[1]

The USA aims to increase its pressure on China through Taiwan and to use the emphasis on international law in this. Such a situation could lead to an environment that would cross Beijing’s red lines. Because Taiwan is one of the most sensitive issues for China. At this point, it can be stated that Washington attaches special importance to Taiwan within the scope of China’s containment policy. Visits by US delegations to China and trade agreements between the US and China can often be read in this perspective. It can be claimed that all of this forced Beijing to make its decision on Taiwan as soon as possible.

The US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan to visit Taiwan can be cited as an example at the point where the US is trying to revive some issues that seriously increase the tension.[2] Because, after the visit of Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to Taiwan in August 2022,[3] China’s frequent and systematic exercises near Taiwan[4] made regional security very fragile. As a matter of fact, it can be stated that the demand for the repetition of the same situation forces Beijing to make a choice in terms of using hard power over Taipei or accepting the actions of the West.

On the other hand, it can be argued that Taiwan considers the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives as a violation of China’s red line. Because Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen suggested that this meeting be held in the USA, not Taiwan, due to security concerns.[5] It is possible to interpret this as Taipei’s avoidance of a crisis with Beijing again. It has been seen that Tsai will make a visit to Belize and Guatemala in April 2023, during this visit she will also go to California and New York, and sshe proposed that the said meeting be held in California.[6]

At the same time, there is no special meaning for the meeting in question to be held in the USA. It can be argued that the aim of the USA is to increase the pressure on Beijing and for this reason, it wishes to hold the meeting in Taiwan.

As a matter of fact, as Washington increases the pressure on Beijing, China will have to make a decision. As a result of this decision, Beijing may attack Taipei and accelerate its moves to unite with Taiwan. Since this will mean the use of hard power, it will be harmful Beijing’s global persuasion. In such an environment, China will be dragged into a state that violates international rules.

Moreover, it is possible that the West uses this discourse to consolidate its own pole and to instill the perception of a “Chinese threat” on neutral states. However, if China does not react and use hard force, it will have compromised its red line. This can be interpreted as an important opportunity for Washington to present Beijing as an unstable actor. Because postponing the use of hard force will damage Beijing’s credibility in terms of rhetoric and principles.

As a result, the pressure created by the USA, NATO and the West on China through Taiwan pushes Beijing to make a decision that will have negative consequences for both. Therefore, it can be said that Washington is forcing Beijing to make a lose-lose choice.

[1] “US Navy Reconnaissance Flight Over Taiwan Strait Draws Angry Response From China”, CNN,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

[2] “US Speaker McCarthy Plans To Meet Taiwan president Tsai in US-Reports”, The Guardian,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

[3] “Speaker Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit: Implications For the Indo-Pacific”, Center for Strategic & International Studies,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

[4] “China Winds Down Days of Military Drills Around Taiwan After Pelosi Visit”, The Guardian,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

[5] “Financial Times: Taiwan President Tsai To Meet US House Speaker McCarthy in US”, NHK World – Japan,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

[6] “Taiwan’s Tsai Convinces House Speaker McCarthy to Meet in US, FT Reports”, Yahoo News,, (Date of Accesion: 07.03.2023).

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.