BY ADAM MICHAEL MOLON July 18, 2021 Updated: July 18, 2021
In the face of the United States’ deepening engagements with Taiwan, the Chinese communist regime can do nothing but issue stern warnings, an official of the democratic island told The Epoch Times.
On July 15, a U.S. Air Force C-146-A Wolfhound landed in Taiwan, delivering “diplomatic mail” to the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei—marking the second U.S. military aircraft to land on the island in less than two months.
The stopover drew anger from the Chinese communist regime, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory despite the island having been governed for decades as a separate entity. Its defense ministry on Thursday warned that foreign countries entering the regime’s airspace without approval would lead to “serious consequences.” It also warned the United States that it was “playing with fire” and said the Taiwan government was “inviting danger.”
“All China can do is talk,” Twu Shiing-jer, Chairman of Taiwan’s Development Center for Biotechnology, told The Epoch Times.
If the United States continues its cooperation with the island, “China, of course, will be very angry…but there’s nothing it can do,” he said.
When the United States sent an Air Force cargo plane carrying a delegation of three U.S. senators to meet with Taiwan’s president in June, Beijing issued similar warnings.
On Friday, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy held joint amphibious landing exercises, state-run media Global Times reported on July 18. The drills should serve as a warning to the United States and “Taiwan secessionists,” an unnamed military expert told the outlet.
Continuing the Trump administration’s friendly posture towards Taiwan, the Biden administration has increased support to the island by sending high-level officials, donating vaccines, and reviving economic talks.
This approach to Taiwan is the result of a consensus between the Republicans and Democrats about the need to counter threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Twu said.
According to Twu, a former Taiwanese health minister and lawmaker, both parties now agree they “should not let the CCP continue to destroy the whole world, and we especially should not let the CCP destroy Taiwan.”
“Standing together with Taiwan used to be vague,” he added. “Now it’s not vague. Now it’s become very clear.”
Ian Easton, senior director at Virginia-based think tank the Project 2049 Institute, described the recent U.S. military aircraft landing in Taipei as a “bold political move and an important milestone.”
“Gestures of diplomatic support like this matter a great deal because Taiwan is isolated and under siege by the Chinese Communist Party,” Easton told The Epoch Times in an email.
Alice Yang, an assistant research fellow at Taiwan’s Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said the move showed that the “U.S will support Taiwan in some instances.”
Facing increasing aggression from an authoritarian China, the island is left looking to strong allies, such as the United States and Japan, for support, Yang told The Epoch Times.
“It’s very hard for Taiwanese people to defend ourselves [on our own],” she said.
Taiwan is looking for increased engagement with the United States, according to Yang. “Taiwanese people really want to feel that we can depend on, rely on the U.S. if something did happen.”
While the United States does not have formal diplomatic ties with the island, it is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself.
Easton foresees broadening political and military exchanges between the two sides going forward.
“There is little Beijing can do to arrest the improvement in U.S.-Taiwan relations that does not increase the risk to itself and cause self-harm,” said Easton, also the author of “The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia.”
“The more the CCP relies on coercion, the more American officials will likely feel compelled to move toward normal diplomatic and military exchanges with Taiwan.”
Twu believes the likelihood of the communist regime invading Taiwan is “very low,” but “not out of the question.”
The CCP is impeded from launching an attack on Taiwan because it is bogged down by both internal and external problems, Twu said. Domestically, the Party is beset by factional struggles, while internationally, scrutiny is increasing over whether the COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a leak from a Wuhan lab.
“They’ve told lies for too long,” he said.