Democrats Toughen ‘Official’ China-Taiwan Policy – China Not Impressed

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cristian L. Ricardo via Wikimedia Commons

In an apparent bid to toughen the anti-China credentials of its notoriously soft-on-China nominee – Joe Biden – the Democratic Party platform adopted last week dropped any reference to the U.S. policy of recognizing only a single China on the mainland. The new platform states that Democrats are committed to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which calls on the U.S. to defend unofficial U.S. ally, Taiwan from attack.

This is a highly welcome change. The 2016 platform explicitly supported the deeply flawed “One China” policy. The question is, are Joe Biden and his party serious, or is this just smoke and mirrors, only to be ignored after the election?

History and experience support the latter.

Unfortunately, the communist Chinese regime does not appear overly concerned either. As reported by The Washington Times, China has so far only offered the mildest of criticisms in a bland statement. Asked about the Democrat’s Taiwan stated policy change, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Taiwan issue “is the most important and sensitive issue between China and the U.S.”

Lijian added, “We urge relevant sides to abide by the One China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues.”

Chinese state media Global Times also noted, according to The Washington Times,  that, “The change of tone will likely further strain China-U.S. relations.” But this extremely muted response is a far cry from recent aggressive Chinese replies to other U.S. statements and actions, part of its “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.”

China security analysts say this low-key reaction reflects Beijing’s interest in seeing Biden defeat President Trump in November – a view reinforced by the U.S. Intelligence Community’s (IC) recent reports that conclude that China is actively working for a Biden victory over Trump.

SEE ALSO: Pelosi Admits China Prefers Biden

The Trump administration has been robustly countering China’s bullying, spying, and military expansion across the board. It has also sharply increased ties to Taiwan, agreeing to sell 66 new F-16V jet fighters and other advanced weapons to Taipei, increasing U.S. forces in the Pacific and sailing warships repeatedly through the Taiwan Strait as a challenge to Beijing.

SEE ALSO: U.S. Reminds China How ‘Real’ Aircraft Carriers Strike Groups Operate

Earlier this month Trump also sent Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II to the island – the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit in four decades.

During the visit, The Washington Times noted, Azar criticized Beijing for mishandling the coronavirus outbreak and pandemic. Taiwan has been widely praised for its efforts to contain the virus spreading from mainland China.

Sadly, the Democrats quickly undermined their attempt at a new “tough-on-China” image when they also said this in their new platform:

Democrats will pursue this strategy without resorting to self-defeating, unilateral tariff wars or falling into the trap of a new Cold War,” the platform says. “Those mistakes would only serve to exaggerate China’s weight, over-militarize our policy, and hurt American workers.

China seemed to read that statement as well – and does not appear impressed with the Democrat’s new tougher talk on Taiwan.

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Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
10 months ago

Delusional Democrats think they are in charge of foreign policy. China knows better.

MikefromTexas
MikefromTexas
10 months ago

The idiot dems want to give everything to our enemies. Isreal, Taiwan and every other country.

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