The United States is the remaining superpower after the fall of the Soviet Union that rivaled its capitalistic views through the spread of communist ideologies. As the most prominent country in the world, the USA has some allies as well as opponents in the world, and most of the latter are located in Asia. The rivalry revolves around economic dominance, political influence and power, as well as the military might. China is emerging as an influential country the power of which threatens the United States. Moreover, it is a communist state, which makes the US worried that China may spread its ideology across the globe. Taiwan is China’s neighbor sharing the capitalist ideologies with the United States, and thus it is a useful partner to the US. Currently, the United States has no enmity with China, and thus the two states have diplomatic relations. However, in diplomacy, the strength of the bond between countries depends on the interests shared by them. This essay seeks to examine why Taiwan is more important than China to the United States. The paper will focus on three reasons namely historical ties, economic partnership and the US leading role in global security and democracy.
Keywords: Taiwan, China, and the United States
Get a price quote
Taiwan (formally the Republic of China) is an East Asian country that neighbors China (the People’s Republic of China), Japan, and the Philippines and has trading ties with many nations (Lynch, 2010). Many years ago, the Republic of China took control of Taiwan Island and mainland China, but as a result of the Chinese Civil War, the Communists captured the power. The government of the Republic of China fled from the mainland to Taiwan in 1949, where it established itself and rejected the ideology of communism (Lynch, 2010). Since the 1960s, Taiwan has experienced rapid economic growth characterized by industrialization, multi-party politics, freedom of the press, high levels of education and public healthcare among other aspects (Yao, Cheng, & Cheng, 2009). The Cold War divided the world into the Western (Capitalist) Bloc and the Eastern (Communist) Bloc, and the United States and China had their respective membership in the two alliances. Given that the US is a capitalist state, and China is one of its rivals from the Communist/Eastern Bloc, Taiwan may appear as a blessing to the United States as being an Asian country that rejected communism. This way, the US has a vital partner to collaborate against the communist threat. The United States has also political, economic and military interests in Asia, especially in the wake of terrorism and nuclear activities. Regarding the above information, Taiwan is more important than China to the US, and this essay seeks to examine the reasons for Taiwan’s priority over China.
Gorgeous Historical Ties between the United States and Taiwan
The United States and its allies had economic interests in the East, and this fact created enmity between the US and Japan based on the power struggles between the two countries (Cai, 2009). The Republic of China has been an enemy of Japan, and thus the two states had perennial conflicts over boundaries. The former also was a long-time ally of the United States, and a sign of their friendship is the Nine Power Treaty signed in Washington in 1922, which was meant to mobilize the signatories to contain the Japanese threat of violating international boundaries (Cai, 2009). Even though the US was reluctant to offer military assistance to China by 1937, the administration continued condemning Japanese for bombing China (Cai, 2009). The Japanese New Order that sought to monopolize the Chinese raw materials annoyed the United States, and thus the latter began helping China in 1938 (Cai, 2009). From 1940, China and the US established the Sino-US Alliance that existed until the end of World War II (Cai, 2009). In the wake of the Chinese Civil War, the communists overpowered the Republic of China, forcing the government to escape to the island and establish itself there as Taiwan/Republic of China, while mainland China remained as the China/People’s Republic of China, a communist state (Lynch, 2010). The escape of the Republic of China rulers to Taiwan and their rejection of communism that occupied the mainland imply that all the past relations the capitalist United States had with China shifted to Taiwan since the communist ideologies adopted by China are not favorable to the democratic USA. In this regard, Taiwan appears more important than China to the US.
Chiang Kai-shek, who ruled China between 1928 and 1975, married a Christian from the United States, and his government also included politicians who were very friendly to America; thus, the latter took advantage of this to tried and reshape China to adopt American values (Bergsten, Freeman, Lardy, & Mitchell, 2009). Before the split of Taiwan from China, there were missionaries in the nation from the US, and this was a sign of good relations between the countries. However, communism rose in China, and Taiwan chose to secede and rejected communism, hence strengthening the relations with the United States. After China attacked Taiwan under Mao’s regime, North Korea also waged a similar attack on Taiwan, and the US had no option but to protect Taiwan as its ally since the latter had chosen not to embrace communism (Bergsten et al., 2009). The adoption of communism by China and the rejection of the same by Taiwan, therefore, portray Taiwan as more significant to the United States compared to China.
Since Taiwan opted to share the same ideologies with the United States by choosing to reject communism advanced by Mao (Lynch, 2010) the USA got a partner to aid it in propagating its military interests in the Asian region. The two signed an alliance in 1954, and this saw the US positioning a military base in Taiwan with a sink-resistant aircraft carrier as a way of spreading its military muscle in the region. China treated this development with suspicion, as it saw this as a way of controlling communism in the area. The country threatened to use nuclear weapons, and the United States equally armed herself (Bergsten et al., 2009). The conflicting ideologies of China and the US, therefore, gave birth and cultivated the friendship between Taiwan and the United States as opponents of China.
By the 1960s, Taiwan/Republic of China had become an economic giant. It experienced high levels of industrial growth and democracy characterized by multi-party politics, freedom of the press, and improved social welfare regarding high rates of education, and public healthcare among other aspects (Yao et al., 2009). The development impressed the United States hence increasing the contacts between the two governments. The economic might of Taiwan made it provide financial and technical support to the US during the Vietnamese operation. At the same time, Taiwan offered opportunities for Americans to learn Chinese culture and language as they could not do it in mainland China (Bergsten et al., 2009). The above reasons, therefore, made Taiwan a friend of the United States, as it was more useful compared to China.
Taiwan as an Economic Partner to the United States
Taiwan rejected the wave of communism that swept China after the rise of Mao, and this made it a potential trade partner to the United States. Taiwan is a democratic country that upholds multi-partyism and the freedom of the press (Yao et al., 2009). Additionally, the state achieved high levels of industrialization that makes it a key trade partner that every nation would like to have. The country is also a leading seller of telecommunication services and products (Kan & Morrison, 2014), and thus it is useful to the United States in the wake of increased technological development. Taiwan is a major economic partner of the US, which is a result of liberalized trade habits that make it easy to move goods and services across the boundaries of the two nations. By 2007, the trade between the two countries amounted to $65 billion (Bergsten et al., 2009), and thus the discussed state is more useful than China, because the latter may not trade with the United States without obstacles arising from their ideological differences. Additionally, the economic excellence of Taiwan in Asia and the global market is a blessing to the US, as it helps to dilute the dominance of China not only in the region but also in the world market (Tucker, 2002). The United States, therefore, gain from the development of Taiwan, as China is a threat to its position. Taiwan, therefore, plays a crucial role in checking the Chinese dominance in the regional and international trade, and hence benefit the United States, because it saves the latter from losing its allies mostly in the third world countries which may be swayed and lured by the Chinese economic muscle. The above reasons make Taiwan a better friend for the US compared to China, and thus it is advisable for the United States to cement the ties.
The United States Leadership in International Security, Freedom, and Democracy
In the modern world, there has been an increased threat of terrorism in countries around the world, and the United States is fighting the vise as well. Terrorists also attack other nations perceived as allies of the US as an indirect assault on the latter and this leads to the destruction of its vital installations in these states. These attacks also appear as a form of coercion to make the countries delink themselves from the United States. In this regard, the US has to secure itself as well as its allies from the terrorist threat. The United States requires placing its military bases in Asia to deal with international terrorism. Based on the fact that most of the Asian countries are US ideological enemies, Taiwan serves as the best choice due to ideological similarities (Bergsten et al., 2009). According to Rigger (2011), Taiwan, therefore, offers a suitable operating point for global security operations, especially in the Asia-Pacific region (Rigger, 2011). For the United States to continue undertaking security operations at the international level, Taiwan is very crucial due to the shared ideologies and the offer to place a military base. Regarding the above, the importance of China to the US cannot match that of Taiwan.
VIP SERVICES OFFER
Try our VIP services or become our VIP client , benefit from the incredible opportunity at a very reasonable price. Limited time offer- order our VIP package with 30% discount
The United States, through the capitalist ideology, promotes democracy and liberalism in governance all over the world. When China fell under the leadership of Mao, who was a communist, he established the Communist Party as a single political vehicle in the country. On the contrary, Taiwan is a democratic state that embraces multi-partism, and the freedom of the press (Yao et al., 2009) and this mode of governance rhymes with the American School of Thought (Kessler, 2008). Moreover, Asia is a continent of communist countries, and thus Taiwan stands as an icon of democracy in a region dominated by a dictatorship. In the effort to democratize the world, the United States has to maintain friendly ties with Taiwan, as it is an example of a democratic nation, and these links may help the US to advance the idea of democracy in the whole Asian continent. According to Bonnie (2016), if the United States plans to carry on its democratization efforts, it greatly needs Taiwan to further these interests in Asia. Regarding the above information, the US needs Taiwan more than China, because the former acts as an avenue for bringing democracy to Asia, and thus the US must support Taiwan in a bid to remain independent of China.
In conclusion, Taiwan is more important to the United States compared to China, and there are strong reasons to prove that. Historical ties between the two countries are one of the reasons. As early as 1922, the USA had a treaty with China when the latter was under the non-communist leadership that shifted to Taiwan. Additionally, Chiang Kai, who led the Republic of China from 1928 to 1975, was friendly to Americans, and thus there were American missionaries in the country. Taiwan’s rejection of communism strengthened the ties, and this fact coupled with economic prosperity and democratization made Taiwan a good trade partner. Another reason for Taiwan as a priority is the business partnership. The country shares the same ideological thoughts with the United States making it easy for the two to trade. The economic prosperity of Taiwan is also beneficial to the USA as it neutralizes the Chinese dominance in the East as well as in the global market. The third reason why the US needs Taiwan more is the former’s leading role in supporting global security, democracy, and freedom. Taiwan shares the same ideologies with the United States, and thus it can effectively help the US to spread democracy in the Asian continent. Moreover, Taiwan offers to place military bases that are essential in the fight against terrorism. Concerning the above information, it is true that Taiwan is more important to the United States compared to China due to the former’s usefulness to the US.