N. P. Upadhyaya;  Kathmandu: China claims that the “democratic Taiwan” is a breakaway province.

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Taiwan considers the opposite and maintains that that it is already a sovereign democratic nation.

This means Taiwan rejects that it is a province of China.

Taiwan further claims that it is a sovereign political entity simply because it has its own Constitution, military and democratically elected leaders and thus is a separate and independent and sovereign nation.

China rebukes this claim made by Taiwan and threatens that “if any attempt is made by Taiwan for independence will mean “at war with the mainland.

This threat is frightening indeed.

The flash back:

China took the presence of the Taiwani Ambassador Hsiao Bi-khim at the inaugural ceremony of President Joe Biden, January 20, 2021, as an act that should have been, at the first place, avoided by both the person invited and the authority which invited the Ambassador.

The US-China ties has once again coagulated that will perhaps test the political wisdom of the new US President and President Xi Jinping.

China’s war threat to Taiwan came close on the heels of the inaugural of the US President and subsequent flying of the spy planes over the Taiwani territory apparently hinting the latter that the presence of the Lady Ambassador at the White House meant that Taiwan backed by the US is ready to irritate China come what may.

China is serious.

Taiwan which claims itself as an independent and a sovereign nation enjoys unconditionally the US commitment which has freshly been reaffirmed by the new President Joe Biden.

US is the biggest strength of the Island nation Taiwan.

The new US President Joe Biden prefers to put pressure on China but not to a level that boils down to direct confrontation, it appears.

Reacting to the Chinese war threat to Taiwan, the US says that the warning from China to Taiwan itself was “unfortunate” and that the current strains did not “led to anything like confrontation”.

The Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told the reporters last week that “we find that comments unfortunate”.

Mr. Kirby also maintained that Pentagon “sees no reason as to why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation”.

The corollary of the US rejoinder is not to push China to the wall. This much could be read.

The US calms down the Chinese regime and hints that China must restrain itself which is a logical advice.

The sudden appearance of the Taiwani Ambassador at the White House ceremony January 20 came as a Himalayan surprise for China and since then the latter apparently has begun sending threat signals to the tiny island that claims itself to be an independent political entity which was different from China in many more ways than one.

China rebukes this claim but concurrently fears that the Island nation may formally declare “independence”.

Noteworthy is the sitting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s meaning loaded talks with the BBC world service which is as follows.

Talking to BBC world service a year ago in January 2020 President Tsai ing-wen said that, “we don’t have a need to declare ourselves as an independent State”.

This must have alarmed China and thus the fear remains.

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President Tsai Ing-wen advises China to accept the “reality” and come to terms with the Taiwani political personality.

“China needs to respect the will of the Taiwanese people”, the President Tsai told the BBC. Tsai ing-wen

When asked by the BBC correspondent “do you have the ability to stand up the military action of China”, the President said that if it so happens then that “would be very costly for China”.

However, the Taiwani President Tsai Ing-wen claims that there is nothing to panic as her nation is already an independent and a democratic nation with all the universal values that is required of a democratic nation.

But China still maintains that it is just an integral part of China.

Commenting on the fresh war threat of China, the BBC Shanghai correspondent Robin Brant opines that “threatening a war isn’t as nuanced as talk of military intervention.

It is blunt, more frightening. It is different too. Military intervention could come in a multitude of ways: not necessarily an out-an-out war between two competing sides and their allies”.
China and Taiwan, to put the record straight, have had separate governments since the end of the Chinese Civil war in 1949.

China yet takes, as stated earlier, Taiwan as its own extended landmass.

As specified in our last article, the new US President will not opt for direct confrontation with China at the moment, yet senior economists say that Biden will struggle now with the Corona Pandemic and for the early distribution of the vaccine to its people across America which is getting late.

In the meanwhile, President Joe Biden is expected to outline his foreign policy vision, aimed at “restoring America’s place in the world” in a speech on Monday, according to a senior administration official writes Carol E Lee for the NEWS dated January 29. (Article penned a day ahead of the talked Biden speech: Ed).

“President Biden is evaluating tariffs on Chinese goods and wants to coordinate future steps with allies, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the other day.

This means China is being studied by the new team in the White House.

This foreign policy outline may also touch upon how to treat China in the days ahead may be also spelt out by the President Biden.

This doesn’t mean that his team will spare China in criticizing China’s presumed threat to Taiwan, HR violations issues inside China, Xining, Hong Kong, Tibet and the Belt and Road Initiative-the BRI etc.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, appealed to Washington to learn from Trump’s “erroneous policies” and adopt a “constructive attitude” but gave no indication of possible changes by Beijing.

“Cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides,” Zhao said Tuesday.

This means that China prefers constructive engagement in its bilateral conducts with the US.

Yet, Nepali observers speculate that China will be kept busy by President Biden’s new team, mainly the squad led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, even in the initial hundred days of the administration.

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China’s patience shall also be tested in the meantime and ultimately both China and the US will have to reconcile for the greater interest of the world peace, let’s hope so.

The US and China too understand this.

Real and intermittent threat to China now will expectedly originate from Nepal where at the moment three equally competing forces are in play.

These forces are India, China and the US and some European Countries.

Nepal is considered a fertile soil by India and the rest of the world powers who have close links with the US and are in the same containment game against China will find Nepal as productive land to leg-pulling China.

The US will talk to its allies with which past President had soured ties and in a collective manner would prefer to irritate China from Nepal.

The biggest strategic geopolitical advantage that Nepal offers to the world powers, including the US obviously, is Nepal’s location and its leaders or the politicians who are all saleable commodity and hence for a hefty financial gains they can act like a real and obedient “gold-diggers” to those who wish to buy these political animals.

A set of Nepali leaders have mastered in the art in serving aliens as against financial benefits.

These are “mercenaries” at best.

Attention! Take care with the prevalence of “double players” whose numerical strength is also considerable and could be found here and there.

Thus the sold politicians will act as per the instructions of those who have bought them.

This is what has been happening in Nepal.

The sold political crowd can come to the streets even against India, China and the US as well.

The “for sale” men in politics and media could easily be ascertained in Nepal.

Having said this, the real threat to China in Nepal is from those who find themselves close to the Indian and the US lobby.

The Indian lobby is very active in Nepal.

The EU Lobby then follows.

Since India and the US are tentatively in the same Indo-Pacific lobby and since both wish to contain China for their own benefits and compulsions, Nepal is the best place to initiate a crusade against China targeting Tibet and the Tibetan refugees.

The US will most likely begin pressing Nepal from a different angle and that would be to pressing Nepal “to look and take care of the Tibetan refugees as per the US newly enacted bill Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) which is already in place as a US Law”.

This would be rather handy for the US.

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The US has now reasons to press Nepal on Tibetan affairs and this way China will experience (un) due pressure from Nepali side sooner than later.

If it is so, then let’s hope that the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make telephone call any time soon to his Nepali counterpart, (as he talked with SM Qureshi of Pakistan on the slain American journalist David Pearl), foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali to take utmost care of the Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal and grant them all that they deserve as per the UN conventions pertaining to refugees.

How Nepal sandwiched between China and India will respond to the US is anybody’s guess. The fact is also that Nepal can’t afford to deny the US diplomatic requests for several political reasons.
To recall, the US is Nepal’s old diplomatic friend compared to other new comers.

In addition, together with the Indian lobby the US will add to the problems of the Nepali government when both will wish to play the Dalai Lama Card.

It is this combined pressure of India and the US which will not be in the capabilities of the Nepali government to withstand thereby encouraging the Chinese regime to act vigorously in Nepal in order to safeguard its core security interests. Anything could happen then.

Now let’s talk of Pakistan:

The new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked to his Pakistani counterpart S. M. Qureshi January 29, 2021, on how to ensure accountability for convicted terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and others responsible for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Daniel Pearl, an American journalist working for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) who was kidnapped and later beheaded in Pakistan in 2002.

David Pearl was kidnapped from Karachi, Pakistan, while on a mission.

Slain Pearl was working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, based in Mumbai, India.

News in the Pakistani media says that Pakistan’s Apex Court has ruled that four men convicted of kidnapping and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl should go free, a move described by the White House as an “affront to terrorism victims everywhere.”

Matt Murray, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, described the Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruling as “infuriating and unjust,” a sentiment echoed by the Biden administration and Pearl’s family.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on last Thursday said the US was “outraged” by the decision, which she called an “affront to terrorism victims everywhere, including in Pakistan.”

American news media report that the United States may also seek to try in a U.S. court a man accused of killing American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Now that the Pakistani Supreme Court has freed the kidnapper of David Pearl, it remains to be seen as to how the US which champions the “Independence of Judiciary” will take the verdict of the Pakistani competent Court.
And how Pakistani government consoles the US officials will in fact test the political smartness of the former.

For a champion of democracy like the US being in the first place the world over, Independence of Judiciary should convince the “aggrieved” US administration.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed with FM Qureshi on the importance of continued U.S.-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghan peace process, support for regional stability, and the potential to expand bilateral trade and commercial ties.

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The US need Pakistani support for the peace and stability in Afghanistan after the US forces pull out from Afghanistan.

As for the regional stability, both the US and Pakistan have said that they will work in this regard. Are they talking of the South Asian regional stability? If so then the US should better tame India-the trouble maker in the region which has been creating troubles in the entire region and in the Afghanistan peace process.

The US is hereby appealed not to take India in its face value.

From the Pakistani side, FM Qureshi expressed his total and complete commitment to forge a comprehensive partnership with the United States based on the convergence of interests on a whole range of issues”, say Pakistani media sources.

Gulshan Rafiq for the South China Morning Post writes January 29, 2021, that for Pakistan, four areas remain crucial: the need for a balance between US-Pakistan and US-India relations; peace and stability in Afghanistan, and a convergence of interests between Pakistan and the US; Pakistan-China relations, and; Pakistan’s position on the Abraham Accords in the overall context of the Middle East.

Nepali observers opine that for Pakistan what is most important is how the US and India behave with the nations in this part of the world that is South Asia, Middle East and the Central Asian nations with which Pakistan enjoys cordial relations.

Further writes Rafiq that the “US relationship with India has been a defining factor in Pakistan-US relations. Islamabad has been sensitive to growing India-US ties since the 1990s.

The US moved closer to India than ever under Trump and Pakistan believes that America’s South Asia policies favor India”.

Yet regional observers in South Asia now held that President Biden will, being closer to India, yet will listen to the plight of the smaller South Asian nations that unfortunately neighbor India-the regional devil.

We conclude by recalling to what new US Secretary of State recently said of China, in his own words, “that the relationship is simultaneously adversarial, competitive and cooperative.

Writes Toquir Hussain in the “The National Interest” dated February 1, 2021, that “a new Cold War or not, asking Pakistan to choose between China and the United States would be risky for Washington. It will tighten Pakistan’s embrace with China which neither Pakistan nor the United States would like.

hey both need each other, for their own reasons. It is not just the United States; China too is pivoting to Asia and the Middle East, and Pakistan is where the two pivots face off.

And Washington cannot leave Islamabad entirely dependent on China and useful only to Beijing’s strategic purposes more so in the light of the reported $400 billion ten year trade and investment deal between China and Iran”.

And Pakistan enjoys cordial ties with Iran-the bete noir of the US.

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Toquir Hussain further writes that Pakistan Could Make or Break America’s South Asia and China Strategies.

Is this a serious and high sounding analysis? Whatever it may be, the fact is that Pakistan and the US establish closer ties. That’s all.





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