Trump is stirring the pot in Taiwan to pressure China in trade negotiations. It’s a dangerous game that could lead to military conflict, but isn’t that true of a lot of things Trump does? From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
The Trump administration last week cut its fourth and biggest arms sale to Taiwan, sparking a furious condemnation from Beijing that the US was undermining its sovereignty and “grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs”.
The weapons deal reportedly worth some $2.2 billion is expected to be given final approval by Congress in the next few weeks. It follows three other major arms sales since 2017 to Taiwan conducted by the Trump administration.
Beijing slammed the latest military transaction as a “violation of international law and the One China policy” – the latter referring to the long-established US consensus with China that Taiwan island is under Beijing’s sovereignty.
Since the Chinese communist revolution in 1949 Taiwan has always been viewed as a renegade province by Beijing, having sheltered retreating anti-communist nationalist forces. Previous US administrations have sold weapons to Taiwan since 1979 when Washington and Beijing normalized diplomatic relations.
However, the Trump administration appears to be blatantly exploiting secessionist tensions between Taiwan and mainland China. By massively arming the island, there is a danger that Taiwanese separatists will feel emboldened to declare independence, a move which Beijing has always said would trigger it to deploy military force in order to assert its sovereignty.