The highlight of 2022’s international relations would definitely be the Russia – Ukraine conflict and its mirror effect on China – Taiwan relations, giving effect to the Fourth Taiwan Straight Crisis. Although the immediate cause for it is attributed to be the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island nation in August 2022 but the underlying causes emanate from China – Taiwan’s deep rooted history.
‘Reunification of Taiwan’ has become Chinese President Xi Jinping’s topmost national priority in the recently concluded 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However what he didn’t expect was for the world to support Taiwan and condemn CCP’s act of forcefully invading Taiwan. On similar lines, Japan has recently included the importance of military peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as a key feature of its draft National Security Strategy, to be approved this month. The fear of a Chinese invasion instils insecurity in the Japanese people as the environment surrounding Japan has been the “harshest and the most complicated in the post-war years.”
This National Security Strategy, which is the basic plan of action for Japan’s foreign and security policies, states that Taiwan is an “extremely important partner and friend with whom our country shares fundamental values” and that Japan will “continue its efforts to deal with them based on the position that the related issues should be resolved peacefully.” Japan – Taiwan ties have been stronger than ever and the latest example of it is Taiwanese President Tsai-Ing Wen pledging to deepen security cooperation with Japan to ensure freedom in the Indo Pacific, during a meeting with a senior member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on December 10, 2022.
A belligerent China, in August 2022, not just hit strikes at Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, but also fired missiles into Japan’s territorial waters which clearly reflects the CCP’s intent of enlarging the area of domination of the Indo Pacific region and not just Taiwan. But the world is slowly rising up against CCP’S ambitions of global pre-eminence, authoritarian influence and coercion. Democracies of the world should follow Japan’s example and update their security provisions so as to accommodate safety of Taiwan’s sovereignty and integrity. The US Taiwan Policy Act, 2022 is a step in the right direction.