Taiwan and the One China Principle
Since the conclusion of the Chinese civil war in 1949, China and Taiwan have functioned as separate nations. There has always been the promise by Taiwan to reunify with the mainland, but no real, concerted effort has ever been made. This and the actions of the United States on behalf of Taiwan have caused China to become threatened by the situation in recent months. The Chinese government released a statement last week that will bring the situation to a head in the near future. In light of China's statement and the response of Taiwan and the U.S., we have to ask what the situation means for China/U.S. relations.
There are many factors to this situation, and they make it very hard to understand, but there is an inevitable conclusion that can be drawn from the facts. This conflict between China and Taiwan will directly result in an armed conflict between the U.S. and China. It will result in war because of the political climate between the PRC and the U.S., the white paper released by the PRC last Tuesday, and the United States' dedication to defending Taiwan.
The political climate between the U.S. and China in the last few months has been strained to say the least. The Clinton administration has been lobbying toward permanent normal trade relations with China and membership for China in the World Trade Organization for the majority of this term. This policy has met great opposition in Washington and from many different organizations in the U.S., and through the release of the white paper last week; China has greatly jeopardized its position. Adding to this, the U.S. Senate, which has never fully supported the policy of the Clinton administration on China, has not been motivated to...
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