(CNN Español) — The history of the relationship between the United States and Taiwan has been marked, in an ineludible way, by a third protagonist, China, which claims the island as part of its territory.
The trip to Taipei made on Tuesday but the president of the House of Representatives of the United States, Nancy Pelosi, has caused commotion in China and generated concern in the Government of Joe Biden. This is the last episode until the end of a long-term relationship marked by official ambiguity, informal links and, more recently, the particular rhetoric of the current American president.
China and Taiwan, the history is inescapable before comprender el role de EE.UU.
Understanding the link between Washington and Taipei implies, first of all, going back to the history of Taiwan —formally the Republic of China—, founded in 1911 after the collapse of the last imperial dynasty of China, as explained in this article.
Under the leadership of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist Party, the Republic of China faced the advances of Japan in the 1930s and the Second World War and the growing power of the Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong. In 1945, he managed to recover the island of Taiwan that he had lost before the Japanese, but soon after, in 1949, the Nationalist Party was defeated by the Communist Party in a brutal civil war.
That year Mao founded the People’s Republic of China, with Beijing as its capital, and about 1.2 million Chinese accompanied the Government of the Republic of China in an exodus to Taiwan, according to the estimates of the island’s authorities. There they remained established while Mao’s forces expanded their control in the continent.
¿Y qué papel jugó Estados Unidos? The American Government had been an ally of the Kuomintang during the Second World War and did not initially recognize the legitimacy of the communists. En otras palabras, siguió apoyando a Taipéi.
Sin embargo, in 1971 los miembros de la UNU recognized the legitimacy of the Popular Republic. That same decade, with the Cold War behind the scenes, China and the United States approached and the American embassy moved from Taipei to Beijing.
“Una sola China”
At the beginning of the decade of 1990, the representatives of continental China had an approach that reached a summit in Hong Kong in 1992 in which, according to Beijing and the pro-reunification parties of Taiwan, there was an agreement of “one China”. Es decir: ambos reconocían que era un solo país que debá reunificarse. Sin embargo, discreparon sobre el alcance y sobre quién es la autoridad legítima.
In the framework of this “Una sola China” policy, the United States recognizes China’s claim that Taiwan is part of that country, but has never officially admitted the claim on the island that has 23 million inhabitants.
“Strategic Ambiguity”: el enfoque de EE.UU.
The United States, then, has maintained for a long time a position of “strategic ambiguity” on how to respond to an invasion of Taiwan. But what? As explained by Stephen Collinson of CNN: “Esto has the objective of maintaining control over the confrontation while dissuading China, keeping open the possibility of an American military response. At the same time, it intends to deprive Taiwan of the American guarantees that could carry it a pressure but su independencia oficial. El objetivo es preserver el status quo y evitar una guerra en Asia, y ha funcionado, permitiendo a Washington caminar por la cuerda floja de las relaciones con ambas partes.
Las promesas de protección de Biden (and las aclaraciones de la Casa Blanca)
Since Biden assumed the Government, the link of the United States with the island has been seen marked by public declarations assuring that he is willing to respond “militarily” as China attacked Taiwan. “Ese es el compromiso que asumimos”, dijo cuando en Tokio le preguntaron periodistas al respecto.
“We support the policy of One China, we support everything we have done in the past, but that does not mean that China has the capacity, the jurisdiction before entering and using the force before taking over Taiwan,” said the president, who also compared the situation with the invasion of Russia in Ukraine.
Esa fue la tercera vez en la que el mandatario hizo comentarios del estilo. Y también la tercera vez que la Casa Blanca tuvo que salir a aclarar que no existía un cambio de política.
Meanwhile, the United States tried defensive armament in Taiwan before it could defend against a possible invasion.
Taiwan, un economic actor poderoso que EE.UU. no deja de lado
The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it does have close ties and open approaches in economic matters.
Taiwan, one of the world leaders in the semiconductor industry, plays a key role in the supply chain.
In May, Biden presented the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF, but its acronym in English), a plan to strengthen ties with the region that has a commercial pata and also seek to make supply chains more resistant, combat corruption and promote la energía limpia.
Taiwan had manifested its desire to participate in this framework that meets 13 countries, but it was excluded, probably due to the willingness of some actors not to raise tensions with China.
Apenas una semana después de anunciador el IPEF, Taiwan y Estados Unidos made official their own commercial initiative, the EE.UU.-Taiwan Initiative for the trade of the XXI century, negotiations that could represent the first step before the signing of a free agreement comercio según el representative comercial de la isla John Deng.
Nancy Pelosi, la protagonista del capítulo más reciente
Pelosi viajó el martes a Taipéi, capital de Taiwan, y se preparaba para abandonar la isla este miércoles, una visita que ha llevado a China a amenazar con acciones “decididas y contundentes”.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan in the middle of a tour of Asia, y es la primera vez en 25 años que un presidente de la Cámara de Representantes del Congresso de Estados llega a la isla.
Horas después de su llegada, China announced that its Army would realize “directed military operations” around Taiwan en respuesta a la visita.
There is antecedents: in 1997, the then president of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, met with the first democratically elected president of the island, just a few days after traveling to Beijing and Shanghai.
En ese entonces la retórica de China fue disaprobatoria, pero quedó en palabras. Now Beijing warns that it will also respond with actions. Aún no se sabe cuál será el desenlace, pero sí la opinión del Ejército de Estados Unidos. Según dijo Biden to journalists about the posture of the military, the trip “is not a good idea at this moment.”
Con información de Germán Padinger, Eric Cheung, Wayne Chang, Nikki Carvajal, Kevin Liptak, Donald Judd, Brad Lendon, Ivan Watson, Stephen Collinson and Nectar Gan de CNN.