Relations between China and the United States are currently experiencing a new escalation of tension over Taiwan, the independent island that China claims as its own and a staunch ally of Washington in the region. Beijing threatened the U.S. and Taiwan on Wednesday saying it would take "strong measures" against both countries for a meeting that Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen is expected to hold with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy on April 5 in Los Angeles, where the Taiwanese leader's aircraft will stop before heading back to Taiwan. Beijing has repeatedly alleged that Washington and Taipei are acting in secret to push for the island's independence. Last August the U.S. clashed with China over the then-speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan despite Xi Jinping's harsh warnings.
The Taiwanese president left on Wednesday for a visit that will take her to Guatemala and Belize to further expand cooperation with these two countries in the economic area. She also plans to promote peace in the region. A few days ago Honduras cut ties with Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with China. Xi Jinping has announced at several meetings and in various statements that the Chinese Army has to arm itself to be able to win a conflict with any country. What’s even more dangerous is that he has made clear his desire to "take back Taiwan" during his current term, which ends in four and a half years.
Over the past few months China has increased its military presence around Taiwan and has conducted major military stunts that have raised fears of a direct conflict between Taiwan and Beijing. Although the US officially recognizes the One China policy, which provides for the sovereignty of the Chinese communist regime over Taiwanese affairs, Washington continues to support the island’s military and has sent its best troops to train the well-equipped Taiwanese Armed Forces.
Peace and democracy
The Taiwanese leader has described her trip to Guatemala and Belize as an opportunity to show those countries and the world Taiwan's commitment to democratic values. "I want to say to the whole world that democratic Taiwan will resolutely safeguard the values of freedom and democracyand will continue to be a force for good in the world, continuing a cycle of goodness and strengthening the resilience of democracy in the world," she told reporters before boarding the plane. "External pressure will not obstruct our resolve to engage with the world."
Undoubtedly, one of her objectives is to counteract the growing Chinese influence, not only in Honduras, but also in many Latin American countries as well as on the African continent.