Global Times, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), has learned a lesson from Old Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: Taiwan is in deep trouble, and the Americans won’t help it. In an editorial published Monday, the CCP sent a harsh message to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the ruling party of the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan: “The DPP authorities need to keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams. From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help.”
This was likely true, and gave the world the spectacle of an increasingly hostile power, the People’s Republic of China, learning from America’s mistakes in Afghanistan, while the American political and military elites showed no sign of doing so. No one in Washington is being held or is going to be held accountable for the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan. Joe Biden just emerged to blame Trump and ignore the question of why, after announcing a departure date, the United States had no exit strategy in place that would ensure the safety of our personnel and weaponry. Biden clearly just wants all this to go away, and thanks to the establishment media, which follows him around like the man with the dustpan and broom who follows after the circus elephant, it probably will go away, at least from the headlines and news feature shows.
But while no one will be fired or even reprimanded for our disastrous exit from Afghanistan, much less for the insane decision to stay there for twenty years without having a clear idea of victory or any coherent endpoint in China, they’re paying very close attention and learning one of the obvious lessons of the last few days. The Global Times article features a cartoon of the American eagle with one wing on the shoulder of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, presumably offering her wise counsel while leading her to walk right into an open manhole. That sums up the article’s point succinctly. “The world has witnessed,” says Global Times, “how the US evacuated its diplomats by helicopter while Taliban soldiers crowded into the presidential palace in Kabul. This has dealt a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the US.”
Indeed. The Chinese daily then reminds the world that “the US abandoned its allies in South Vietnam” in 1975, and asks, “Is this some kind of omen of Taiwan’s future fate?” Clearly, if the Chinese Communist Party has anything to do with it, it is indeed an omen.
Taiwan is already no stranger to betrayal by the United States. On July 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon began the now-common practice of America abandoning allies and embracing enemies when he announced that he would become the first president to visit Communist China. The visit took place in February 1972 and led, several years after Nixon was out of office, to U.S. recognition of the Beijing government as the sole legitimate government of China and the withdrawal of that recognition from the Taiwanese government.
The outreach to China may have been historically inevitable in the sense that Communists controlled the entirety of mainland China, with the Republic of China restricted only to a small island. The Communist government was indeed the ruler of most Chinese; it was, however, also a repressive totalitarian state that was viciously hostile to the U.S. and American interests, whereas Nationalist China had been a reliable ally of the United States since the end of World War II. Nevertheless, the United Nations expelled Nationalist China, a founding member, on October 25, 1971. The world body may have been emboldened to do this by Nixon’s imminent visit to Red China and the legitimization it represented. In any case, the Nixon administration, although it voted no on the expulsion resolution, did nothing to counter the acceptance of the Communist regime, and quickly jumped on the bandwagon. When the UN resolution passed, the ambassador to the UN from Maoist Albania, Reis Malile, hailed it as a “great victory” for “peace-loving Member States” and “a great defeat for the United States of America.”
Yes. Could Nixon have reached out to Communist China without betraying Taiwan? We will never know. But as far as our present-day difficulties with Communist China go, that’s where our troubles began. And now the Chinese Communists see Biden’s handlers as appallingly weak, providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to seize Taiwan, secure in the knowledge that America’s response will be woke, weak, schoolmarmish, self-righteous, and impotent. Biden’s handlers’ weakness in Afghanistan could have consequences that will play out worldwide, for decades or even centuries to come. They should have known that projecting weakness on the world stage only emboldens the most evil actors. Or maybe they just didn’t care.