Standing In The Way Of China-Taiwan Reunification – OpEd


Reunification of China and Taiwan can dramatically change the world order to an equitable and just one 

The recent visit to China by former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou – the first time a Taiwanese president has visited the country since the defeated Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan in 1949 – will have set off shock waves in the United States and other countries bent on a non-peaceful resolution of the China Taiwan stand-off. 

According to reports on the under-reported but closely watched visit by western media, Ma stressed that China and Taiwan must do everything possible to avoid war. 

Accompanied by a delegation of academics and college students, Ma in comments provided by his office noted:

“People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are Chinese people, and are both descendants of the Yan and Yellow Emperors.”

Despite the common history and ancestry, Ma acknowledged the magnitude of the reunification challenge. 

“We sincerely hope that the two sides will work together to pursue peace, avoid war, and strive to revitalise China”. 

“This is an unavoidable responsibility of Chinese people on both sides of the Strait, and we must work hard.”

More alarming to the US are the comments of French President Macron to the French media following his recent visit to China and meetings with Chinese leader, Xi Jinping. In his interview conducted with Les Echos and Politico, Macron told the reporters that “Europe faces a great risk” if it “gets caught up in crises that are not ours.”

“The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” Macron said. “The question Europeans need to answer… is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.” 

Much stronger words on Taiwan and the need for Europe’s “strategic autonomy” were in fact expressed by Macron in the posted redacted interview so as to avoid a bigger controversy with Taiwan, the US and US allies. 

Anti Reunification Forces

Left unsaid by Ma and Macron is that the forces opposed to reunification of China and Taiwan are at their most virulent and most hostile point in history. Led by the United States and a supportive cast of suppliant allies, the anti reunification forces are using Taiwan to confront and subvert China and forestall any prospect of peaceful reunification. 

What matters for the anti reunification forces is not the the fate of Taiwan or the opinions of the Chinese and Taiwanese population. What is at stake is to win the US led effort to contain and isolate China and to repulse any challenge to the US monopoly of power, wealth and dominance taken for granted in a US led unipolar world in which any attempt to resist American hegemonic control is portrayed as an assault on a ‘democratic’ ‘rules-based’ international world system defined by the US but not agreed to by the great majority of the world’s countries. 

High Stakes Behind Forestalling Reunification

Western media and policy makers do not want to admit it but reunification of China and Taiwan will dramatically change the world order from the current Western dominated one to a new one which will more fairly reflect the diverse interests and values of the international community; and not that of China alone. 

This is the existential fear which has driven Trump and Biden, and Western media, to engage in what has been described as the “relentless”, “off the chart”, anti China “mass hysteria” taking place on a daily basis. 

Thus the resort to the Tibet card; the Hongkong card; the Uygher card; the South China Seas card; and the Taiwan anti-reunification card.      

The strength of the anti reunification forces should not be underestimated. It is not only western media, politicians and  ‘democracy’ lovers in the West that are intent on making Taiwan the sacrificial pawn in a proxy war against China and to ensure that China – and the rest of the world – remain subordinate and shackled to a western dominated world system. 

Behind the political theatre and publicity grabbing actions of Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, and other anti China newbies from Democrat and Republican parties stands the US military industrial complex and a cohesive and vociferous array of anti China interest groups looking at their positions and pocket books, and spooked by the loss of US leadership in the global economy and geo-politics. 

Especially noteworthy are US and British arms industry companies who have Taiwan as their ATM generating billions of dollars for them and their little mentioned but crucial support cast of Taiwanese military, lawmakers and government official counterparts. Together they are inflaming tensions in the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea whilst deluding Taiwan into the belief that the US is willing to go to war over Taiwan, and that Taiwan is able to defend itself should China abandon its bid for peaceful reunification.

Table : US – Taiwan Recent Military Sales 

Biden administration – $3.506 billion

Trump administration – $18.27 billion

From 1979 to 2020, 77% of major conventional armsi mported by Taiwan were of U.S. origin, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s arms transfers database. Note: The data here does not include direct commercial sales. Source:

US Effort to Strangle China Through the Chips War   

Besides the escalation in arms sales to Taiwan and the over 50,000 plus troops stationed in more than a hundred military bases in Asia targeting China, we now have the US’s latest weapon to strangle “with an intent to kill China’s tech sector” as described by Washington think tank CSIS. This is the Biden initiated ban on semiconductor sales to China which took effect in October 2022. 

If peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan takes place, it is inevitable that the political and economic reconciliation will enable TSCM, the world’s leading semiconductor foundry, to do business again in China. This development is one which the US will want to go to war with China over in its belief that its technological and military supremacy will be irrevocably undermined.

Should this happen Taiwan will definitely become the scorched-earth battlefield that Washington’s war hawks have long been preparing for.            

Lim Teck Ghee

Lim Teck Ghee PhD is a Malaysian economic historian, policy analyst and public intellectual whose career has straddled academia, civil society organisations and international development agencies. He has a regular column, Another Take, in The Sun, a Malaysian daily; and is author of Challenging the Status Quo in Malaysia.

4 thoughts on “Standing In The Way Of China-Taiwan Reunification – OpEd

  • April 14, 2023 at 12:12 am

    Nowhere in your article do you express what the Taiwanese people want. Why is that?

    • April 14, 2023 at 2:34 am

      The Taiwanese people definitely do not want to be the running dogs of the evil US who have no love or concern for them at all. The evil US is just using them as canon fodder. Wise up the Taiwanese people.

  • April 14, 2023 at 3:14 am

    China and Russia-the axis of evil. If Taiwan is going to be “reunited” with China, will be exactly as Hong Kong-dead at arrival. The author of this article is definitely a Chinese tool. Better democracy than communism. Wise up Taiwanese people.

  • April 15, 2023 at 11:45 am

    It is an understatement to say that the issue of China-Taiwan reunification is and will be a long-running, convoluted, and ultimately excruciating issue for both China and Taiwan complicated by the fact that Western powers (such as the US) are involved. This has been true since (arguably) before 1949 and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

    Yet, fundamental questions remain: Do the Taiwanese people (not the government in Taipei) want reunification? What will China gain from winning control of Taiwan aside from extended geographical control and access to its high-tech infrastructure? Who will TRULY benefit from this reunification? Who will lose out if reunification did take place?

    Although reunification of the Chinese people across the Taiwan Strait will, undoubtedly, be a wonderful, and no less momentous, event, whether will it generate prosperity, peace, and progress for both the mainland and the island is speculative at this moment. All we have are guesses and ideals about peace and security being thrown about.

    Furthermore, we must question the true motive(s) behind reunification. Surely, throwing off Western oppression and domination is not Beijing’s only objective. Forcing the reopening of the semiconductor industry to allow China access once again? Perhaps. Or will the global market develop further with China in control of the industry? A lower cost to do business is a great boon to manufacturers and producers which meant products will be accessible to a greater number of customers. It is a fact: everyone loves savings. Alas, too many things are at stake here and there are too many questions that need answering.


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