The Times view on Taiwan tensions: Price of War

The Times published that it is more than four decades since the United States military lowered its flag in Taiwan for the last time and departed, months after Washington and Beijing established diplomatic recognition of one another for the first time.

This week it has emerged that American troops have returned to the island on a mission to train Taiwanese forces amid China’s increasing belligerence towards what it views as a renegade province.

The small contingent of US Marines and special forces have been in Taiwan for over a year and it is certainly not the first such mission. Chinese spies will have long known they were there.

Fear of a sudden invasion

The American newspaper, “The Wall Street Journal”, revealed this week that American soldiers secretly trained the Taiwanese army, for at least a year, in order to strengthen the island’s defenses against any possible Chinese invasion. It added, that 20 US special forces soldiers and a unit of marines trained small units of the Taiwanese army and navy, and the US Department of Defense did not deny the news, but US officials confirmed this information, which was kept secret, but it seems that China revealed it and deliberately ignored it, while this is considered the American behavior is in violation of Washington’s obligations since the administration of former President Jimmy Carter, when the United States transferred official recognition from the government in Taipei to the government in Beijing, and since then, America’s relations with China and Taiwan have been determined through many diplomatic agreements, in addition to the Law on Relations with Taiwan in 1979.

While the situation fluctuates between escalation and calm, observers agree that the possibility of a direct war between the United States and China is weak, but not excluded, while the most likely scenario remains a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, which does not go beyond the brink of madness.