Saving Taiwan by Brahma Chellaney – Project Syndicate

Chinese President Xi Jinping seems eager for Taiwan to go the way of once-autonomous Tibet, which was gobbled up by Mao Zedong’s regime in the early 1950s. This would constitute the biggest threat to world peace in a generation, and the United States cannot afford to allow it.
NEW DELHI – China’s coercive expansionism may be taking its most dangerous turn yet. Recently, record-breaking numbers of Chinese military planes have entered Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone,” where the island’s authorities assert the right to demand that aircraft identify themselves. China’s muscle-flexing sends a clear message: it is serious about incorporating the island – and “reunifying” China – potentially by force.
Though the international community has been reluctant to challenge the Chinese claim that Taiwan has “always been” part of China, the claim is dubious, at best, and based on revisionist history. For most of its history, Taiwan was inhabited by non-Chinese peoples – Malayo-Polynesian tribes – and had no relationship with China. Geographically, Taiwan is closer to the Philippines than to the Chinese mainland.
It was not until the seventeenth century that significant numbers of Chinese began to migrate to Taiwan, encouraged by the island’s Dutch colonial rulers, who needed workers. Over the next 100 years, the ethnic Chinese population grew to outnumber Taiwanese natives, who were increasingly dispossessed, often violently. During this period, Taiwan came under the Qing Dynasty’s control. But it was not until 1887 that Taiwan was declared a province of China.
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144 Commentaries


Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research and Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, is the author of several books, including Asian Juggernaut, Water: Asia’s New Battleground, and Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis.
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Why should the US intervene when it recognizes "One China"?? If Taiwan invades the mainland, do you then think it's OK?
Your argument lack thoughtfulness of a serious writer/thinker: "For most of its history, Taiwan was inhabited by non-Chinese peoples" what kind of statement is that? You can say about that for literally any place on earth by its current inhabitants…For the record, earth is not inhabited by humans, for most of its history. Lame.
It seems to me that International Cooperation in containing Chinese behaviour is what is most crucial. The US alone has serious credibility problems these days, yet is crucially important, but needs a strong and unified alliance. Where is Japan's role, for example. Taiwan plays a central role in the international semiconductor business which means actual military conflict would hit everyone very hard. Military conflict does need to be avoided with credible deterrence but who can trust the word of the UK these days (not Ireland) or the US ( will the present administration be replaced with one that only knows how to do its own thing, walks away from treaty commitments and prefers demagogues to democracies?). Other powers need to step forward. And when you think about that in real power terms, no wonder Xi is stepping up the pressure.
"This would constitute the biggest threat to world peace in a generation, and the United States change to " World" cannot afford to allow it. I think you get the point. Keep buying your imports from China, which takes the money to build an army that is threatening the world. China has said they will dominate the world and making good progress doing it based on how many world leaders support China. China only needs to treat Taiwan like the US treated Cuba. Surround it and isolate it, no world government will fight for the country….Has any world leader pushed back on China in any meaningful way? The only one who did lost his job because of mean tweets. xué xí nǐ de pǔ tōng huà
China's sabre rattling toward Taiwan is a warning to Taiwan's pro-independence party against inching toward independence. It's no secret that Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants Taiwan to be independent, and they are using their power to change the education, shut down opposition media, curbing exchanges with China, severing the traditional cultural bonds, and gradually make Taiwan a truly independent country. This goes against the consensus between China and Taiwan before DPP came to power, namely that there is only one China, and both Taiwan and the mainland belong to the same country. How Taiwan and the mainland should be reunited is left to the future. But this common understanding has been broken, which is the source of the rising tensions across the Taiwan straits. If Taiwan returns to the one China consensus, then the risk of China invading Taiwan becomes essentially zero, since the public in mainland China is also happy with the status quo and willing to postpone the question of reunification to the indefinite future. But Taiwan's DPP is breaking that status quo, and China is responding with threats of invasion if DPP continues along this path. The most pragmatic solution that eliminates the risk of war at little cost to all parties is for Taiwan to give up the ambition of becoming an independent country, which could happen by voting DPP out of power. But this solution is never talked about in Western media because Taiwan serve as a tool to drag down China. On the contrary, many commentators and policymakers in the West actively encourage Taiwan to seek de facto independence. What they have in mind is not Taiwan's well-being, but rather to contain China, and they are willing to sacrifice Taiwan for this objective. Same with the author.
The biggest threat to world peace is if Biden allows us to be drawn into a war with China over this. Let the rest of the industrialized join us in discourse against China's potential takeover. Let the UN help with it. But the fact remains we do have troops in Taiwan right now "training" the Taiwan military and that alone is provocative. World war 3 over Taiwan? That is a very bad option.
Who are the war criminals telling lies attacking/invading Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. and committing war crimes with many millions being killed/raped/injured/traumatized and/or displaced?

Who are the war criminals that overthrew Iran's democratically elected government and installed the Shah dictator as US puppet?

Who are the war criminals helping Saddam attacking/invading Iran that killed about a million people?

Who are the war criminals responsible for the shooting down of Iran passengers Airbus flight 655 with missile fired from USS Vincennes?

Who are the war criminals murdering Suleimani who was on peace mission discussing diplomatic rapprochement that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia?
Assassinating Suleimani (a war crime) is akin to assassinating US Defense Secretary: Will US leaders accept assassinating US Defense Secretary?

These all-powerful US leaders are the war criminals that have repeatedly committed crimes against humanity, they have to be stopped before they commit more and more war crimes and creating more failed states with millions and millions suffering in endless bloodshed.

These leaders (Bush, Cheney, Blair, etc.) were and are lying, cheating, breaking laws attacking/invading illegally (Iraq, Libya, etc) which are war crimes, antagonizing/ radicalizing the people, destabilizing the region leading to more violent conflicts and bloodbaths, wasting trillions to commit war crimes (some of the worst in modern history) with these countries wretched and lied in ruins costing estimates of 461,000 to 655,000 deaths (Iraq alone), about 500,000 deaths (Syria alone), estimates of 2,500 to 25,000 deaths (Libya alone)…and millions more of innocents (children, women, etc.) being injured/traumatized and/or displaced (12 million displaced for Syria alone)..this is the very heavy price the ordinary people are paying for the US/UK/France illegal attacks/invasions and these war criminals (Bush, Cheney, etc) must be held accountable.

It's been more than 10 years since the NATO-led illegal attacks of Libya setting fires in Libya (and the region) leading to bloodshed and chaos, Libyans are still suffering hell… Libya stands further and further from peace than ever.

NATO leaders are the ones responsible for this crime against humanity and these war criminals must be held accountable for each and every casualty in these war crimes.

U.S/UK/France must accept at least a million refugees in each of these 3 countries since they have created all these refugees in the first place.

US/UK/France must pick up the pieces and restore peace/stability in all these countries that were attacked/invaded illegally by US/UK/France.

Justice delayed is justice denied.
Bush/Cheney/Blair/Sarkozy/Cameron, etc and their senior officers/advisors/generals) are the war criminals with a lot blood on their hands and the UN and ICC must take actions to charge/jail these war criminals for life.

Iran is painted as the devil incarnate by US leaders, that’s a lie.
US leaders even impose illegal sanctions to prevent Iran procuring vaccines and healthcare products.
Is this rule of law?
Are US leaders happily gloating to see Iranians dying/suffering with the lack of vaccines and healthcare products?

US Army and CIA personnel committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy, and murder.

The Mahmudiyah rape and killings were war crimes involving the gang-rape and murder of 14-year-old Iraqi girl Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi and the murder of her family by US Army soldiers on March 12, 2006 which occurred in the family's house to the southwest of Yusufiyah.

The Haditha massacre (also called the Haditha killings or the Haditha incident) was a series of killings on November 19, 2005, in which United States Marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians. The killings occurred in Haditha, a city in Iraq's western province of Al Anbar. Among the dead were men, women, elderly people and children as young as 1, who were shot multiple times at close range while unarmed.

Two unarmed civilian Afghans, Habibullah and Dilawar, were repeatedly tortured, chained to the ceiling and beaten by U.S. military personnel in December 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, resulting in their deaths.

The 2007 Helmand province airstrikes were a set of airstrikes conducted by NATO and resulted in death of at least 45 Afghan civilians.

The Maywand District killings were the murders of at least three Afghan civilians perpetrated by U.S. Army soldiers from June 2009–June 2010.

On 2012.03.11, United States Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales murdered sixteen civilians and wounded six others in Afghanistan. Nine of his victims were children, and eleven of the dead were from the same family. Some of the corpses were partially burned.

From 2005 to 2016, at least 25 Australian soldiers involved in killing 39 Afghans — killings perpetrated not in the “fog of war” but against defenseless civilians and detainees including gruesome murders of two 14-year-old boys, and civilians (including children) being blindfolded, tortured and had their throats slit in a savage practice of “blooding”, where young special forces soldiers were instructed by senior commanders to make their “first kill”.

In 2007, employees of Blackwater Security Consulting (a private military company owned by the brother of Trump’s Education Secretary) shot at unarmed Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring 20 in Nisour Square massacre. In 2020, to rub salt into the wound, Trump pardoned these war criminals (who had killed unarmed civilians in Nisour Square massacre), you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, it just shows how corrupt these corporate cronies and politicians are.

U.S. carried out air strike in Syria in the village of Al-Jineh hitting a mosque where 49 civilians were killed on 2017.03.17. At least 33 people were killed in another US-led strike on a school used as a centre for displaced people near a northern Syrian town on 2017.03.21.

The US war criminals who used Air Force AC-130U gunship attacking the Kunduz Trauma Centre operated by MSF in Afghanistan with at least 42 people killed and over 30 injured. MSF condemned the attack, saying all warring parties had been notified of the hospital's location ahead of time, and that the airstrike was deliberate, a breach of international humanitarian law and a war crime.

On 2020.01.03: US leaders murdering of Suleimani who was on peace mission discussing diplomatic rapprochement that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Assassinating Suleimani (a war crime) is akin to assassinating US Defense Secretary: Will US leaders accept assassinating US Defense Secretary?

US leaders and US armed forces are the goons, the biggest terrorist organization in the world spreading fear around the globe.

US leaders have committed war crimes, they have a lot of blood on their hands, they must be held accountable, they must face the music, they must be charged/jailed for life.

The UN/ICC cannot continuously turning a blind eye to all these war crimes.

US leaders are serial liars and serial cheats.
When you're dealing with US leaders, always remember they'll lie, they'll cheat, they'll break laws, they'll attack/invade illegally and committing war crimes (in Iraq, etc.), they'll use you as useful idiots well then throw you to the wolves… this is how US leaders operate.

Iran was complying the nuclear deal with major powers, the IAEA had said.
All along, Iran was complying in good faith.

US is the guilty party that unilaterally breaking/withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal with sinister intentions, US leaders are the thugs that routinely bully/trample any countries that the US dislikes, repudiate the JCPOA, impose illegal sanctions, US leaders must be condemned and held accountable.

Iran will not respond to threat and blackmail.

Iran's door is always open but first thing first, US must return and must fully comply with the Iran nuclear deal in good faith, stop all illegal sanctions, stop all illegal attacks.
One grows weary of the incessant saber rattling. Neither US nor China can afford a serious war in Taiwan, because sure as day follows night, the loser would lay waste to the chip factories rather than let the winner gain a monopoly over the world's computers. The result would be global economic devastation. But the big talk will continue, of course.
There was a brief time when Taiwan was under Mainland control during the 20th century: between the end of World War II and the founding of the People's Republic. But, as Mao Zedong told Edgar Snow* in the mid-1930s, “We certainly hope Taiwan can be independent!”

*in Red Star Over China
Save Taiwan? Has Chellaney forgotten China's red line? Is he encouraging The Republic of China (Taiwan) to declare independence and start a war and destroy Taiwan?
China's "red line"? Do the Taiwanese have a right to decide their own future? Or do the people don't matter (either in Taiwan or China) for the Chinese Communist Party?
Do the Dalits/Muslims/Kashmiris have no rights at all?
Or do these people don't matter at all?

Thousands of Kashmiris have been killed by Indian security forces in custody, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances and these human right violations are carried out by Indian security forces under total impunity.

Civilians including women and children have been killed in "reprisal" attacks by Indian security forces. International NGOs, as well as the US State Department, have documented human rights abuses including disappearances, torture, and arbitrary executions.

United Nations has expressed serious concerns over large number of killings by Indian security forces. Human Rights groups have also accused the Indian security forces of using child soldiers.

Torture, widely used by Indian security sources, whose severity is described as beyond comprehension by Amnesty International, has been responsible for the huge number of deaths in custody.

The Telegraph, citing a WikiLeaks report, quotes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that Indian security forces were physically abusing detainees with beatings, electrocutions and sexual interference.

According to ICRC, 681 of the 1296 detainees whom it interviewed claimed torture. US officials have been quoted reporting "terrorism investigations and court cases tend to rely upon confessions, many of which are obtained under duress if not beatings, threats, or in some cases torture."

Amnesty International accused India security forces of exploiting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that enables them to "hold prisoners without trial". The group argues that the law, which allows security to detain individuals for as many as two years "without presenting charges, violating prisoners' human rights".

According to Human Rights Watch, the military courts in India, in general, were proved to be incompetent to deal with cases of serious human rights abuses and were responsible in covering up evidence and protecting the involved officers.

Amnesty International in its report in 2015, titled "Denied"-Failures in Accountability in Jammu and Kashmir, says, "…with respect to investigations, an inquiry that is conducted by the same authority accused of the crime raises serious questions about the independence and impartiality of those proceedings", adding that according to the international law, an independent authority that is not involved in the alleged violations has to investigate such crimes.

The soldiers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles of the Indian Army on 23 February 1991 launched a search operation for the militants in a village Kunan Poshpora, in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir and after which they were accused by locals of raping 23 women.

India treats all minorities in the country poorly and cruelly, human rights abuses against social and religious minorities in India have been on the rise for many years as reported by many organizations like Dalit American Coalition, Organisation of Minorities from India, TwoCircles and South Asian Solidarity Initiative.

They reported the unprecedented success of the government has provided a “tremendous fillip to Hindu supremacist forces” attacking religious minorities that have been amplifying.

State agencies, including law enforcement and the bureaucracy are constitutionally mandated to act against such bigotry and supremacism. Alarmingly, these institutions are now under the control of the very Hindu ultranationalist forces who have run anti-minority campaigns.

Impunity has also extended to politicians, including those in elected offices, and supremacist groups that have been carrying out campaigns of vigilantism against the minorities.

Legal challenges against police officials are rare; their prosecutions rarer and convictions next to nil. Trials are delayed. Threats of violence invariably force families and witnesses to withdraw complaints and reverse testimonies.

The Indian state has made a mockery of provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for strict punishment for excesses by law enforcement officials.

In India, hate crimes against religious minorities, their social boycotts and forced conversions had escalated dramatically since 2014.

A report titled “Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India", divulged that following the victory of BJP in May 2014 elections, concerns have been mounting about the fate of religious minorities in India.

As feared by many faith communities across India, threats, hate crimes, social boycotts, desecrations of places of worship, assaults, and forced conversions led by radical Hindu nationalist movements have escalated dramatically.

India faces serious challenges to both its pluralistic traditions and its religious minorities. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Jains generally are fearful of what the future portends.

Moreover, Hindus classified as Schedule Castes or Tribes, commonly referred to as Dalits, also are increasingly being attacked and harassed.

USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese said in the report: “India is a religiously diverse and democratic society with a constitution that provides legal equality for its citizens irrespective of their religion and prohibits religion-based discrimination. However, the reality is far different. In fact, India’s pluralistic tradition faces serious challenges … (and) during the past few years, religious tolerance has deteriorated and religious freedom violations have increased in some areas of India.

During the past few years, religious tolerance has deteriorated and religious freedom violations have increased in some areas of India. To reverse this negative trajectory, the Indian and state governments must align their laws with both the country's constitutional commitments and international human rights standards.

The monstrous deformation of Indian secularism and constitution in recent times reveals the true face of India
Wow! Yours sounds more like a rant rather than rational harangue. Is there any relevance to Taiwan the author was talking about? Salaam to you!
Ben: Any hot war with Taiwan will get Communist China bloodied too. It will create world wide repercussions in trade, international political scene and will not be limited to just two parties lasting for only limited time.

Here is one scenario! That “little “ Taiwan as viewed with contempt by Communist China, manufactures considerable number of semiconductor chips used in world wide automobile production and everyone will be hit hard economically. South China Sea will be full of naval vessels and fighter planes ready for a fight. US will definitely throw its hat in the ring and hot conflict will go out of control! It won’t be a pretty sight for anybody!

You know Communist Chinese are no supermen. And don’t expect outsiders to prostrate either! The Chinese know it🤫!
A war over Taiwan will involve US and for US to win the war, it must attack China mainland bases, forcing China to attack the bases in Guam, and then the US mainland in retaliation. This may eventually lead to the use of nuclear weapons. The radioactive fallout will then envelope the world and the death of everyone, including you and me. That is the scenario we want to avoid and we have to avoid.
Agree with you 100% . There is no winner in a nuclear war where exchange of nukes would take place. So why do you think then the Chinese would provoke, or risk their neck in such a doomsday scenario?That’s why all this posturing and all that show-off! The Chinese are very smart not dumb now or two thousand years ago. (So also others in outside world too! ). Their strategists have read and digested Sun Tzu’s writings written/spoken words extremely well! It is a remarkable thesis of a brilliant military strategist of China. His ideas are applicable even today’s events.

In the mean time Chinese will continue with their trade blitz! And soon you will be buying groceries in Walmart/Costco , shipped from China.
If you know the hundred years of humiliation in the history of China, the Opium War, the invasion of China by the Japanese Imperial Army, the Nanking Massacre, or Taiwan as the unfinish civil war between the Communist and the Nationalist, then you will understand China's red lines.
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Instead of seeking to intimidate and absorb Taiwan, China would do well to learn from small Taiwan how to build a more harmonious society, with public accountability, strong civil society and environmental protection.
You clearly have not been to China. China is way more harmonious than most Western countries, which are now torn apart by popularism and wealth inequality. It's nice to be in your own bubble, but it aint real…
The United States needs to get its act together before it is too late to save Taiwan. Like Hitler, Xi's expansionism is unstoppable until he tastes major defeat.
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