Region must be wary as reckless Washington risks tripping the wire

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After a bipartisan delegation of six senior members of the US Congress arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army announced on Friday that it was conducting combat readiness patrols as well as military drills in the East China Sea and waters around the island.

This represents the latest escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Straits, thanks to such provocations by Washington, which contradict the Joe Biden administration’s repeated claims that it opposes Taiwan independence and upholds the one-China principle.

The United States has markedly intensified its tricks, open and underhand, to manipulate the Taiwan question since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis seemingly in a bid to precipitate China into rushed military action to reunify the island with the motherland.

It appears that in Washington’s calculations, if a conflict were “accidentally” sparked across the Straits, it would prompt the “fence-sitters” to join its crusade against China, in a similar vein to how it has triggered the Ukraine conflict, which has turned cooperative relations between the European Union and Russia into antagonism.

Although the challenge from Russia might be more acute at present, it should not be forgotten that isolating China from the rest of the world and impeding its development are the priorities of US foreign policy, as both Democrats and Republicans view China as the US’ primary rival in the long run.

Beijing’s pro-stability and pro-development diplomacy and China’s indispensable role in world trade and as a linchpin of global supply chains have meant that Washington has been unable to decouple the US or the rest of the world from China as it desires.

Neither the trade war against China waged by the previous Donald Trump administration and lasting till now, nor the various disinformation campaigns the two administrations have conducted targeting China over the COVID-19 pandemic and human rights issues has realized their intended results. Nor have Washington’s schemes relating to Hong Kong and Xinjiang. As a result, it is now focusing on the South China Sea and East China Sea in the hope that it can engineer a proxy war in the Asia-Pacific by prompting Beijing to take a move that will bankrupt China’s pro-peace image.

If not reined in, Washington’s corrupt and insolent behavior could cost the peace and stability of the whole Asia-Pacific region. With Europe paying the price for being exploited and manipulated by the US, countries in the Asia-Pacific should keep their wits about them lest Washington lead them astray with its tricks and nonsense. They should not be deceived by the US’ false show of values, for it has regard for none but those that serve itself.

The course on which Washington is bent is relentlessly pernicious, and bears only the promise of injury to regional peace and stability. Countries in the region should not condone or encourage its provocations. Instead they should continue to focus on cooperation and coordination to enhance the cohesion and development of the Asia-Pacific as a whole.

-The Daily Mail-China Daily News Exchange Item