Since US President Joe Biden assumed the White House, the US support to Taiwan was unapologetically withdrawn to mere lip service. But it was known that Joe Biden has an unrequited love for China and will do everything to please the Chinese. But now, when a team of three senators landed in Taiwan and pledged their support to the island, China’s reaction was far from reactionary, far from what it has been in the past.
It was subdued up to the point where even Chinese citizens started to criticize the Chinese Communist Party for its lack of aggression. Which brings us to the point of whether Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a secret deal over the Taiwan issue?
On Sunday, a delegation of three US legislators visited Taipei and announced that Washington would provide 750,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Taiwan. Taiwan has accused China of impeding its efforts to procure vaccines, claiming that it is part of Beijing’s persistent drive to isolate the island.
China has expressed its displeasure with US Senators visiting Taiwan to contribute coronavirus vaccines, claiming that it will strengthen Taiwan’s “separatist forces.” Beijing regards democratic, self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory that will be reclaimed one day, if necessary, by force, and resents any diplomatic attempts to recognise it as an independent country.
China “expresses strong dissatisfaction (toward the visit) and has lodged a solemn representation,” according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. He also asked the US to “be prudent when dealing with the Taiwan question and avoid sending any erroneous signals to separatist forces” on the island.
However, the lukewarm remark from a ministry known for its vehement replies to any diplomatic overtures to Taiwan enraged China’s online nationalists. One Weibo user wrote Monday on a post by state-run tabloid Global Times regarding Wang’s statement, “Saying that is the same as saying nothing, I’m sick of it.” “You should send two fighter jets to escort them!” another user urged.
Diplomats and official propaganda in China have pushed for a more assertive, belligerent form of nationalism in recent years, with officials tweeting insults and conspiracy theories about diplomatic rivals and state television gloating over the chaos caused by protests and coronavirus outbreaks abroad.
But this response was hardly belligerent. Moreover, the same kind of soft response was seen from China towards the US administration when Biden called for renewed research into the “lab-leak” theory. While China has vehemently defended itself against any allegations of manufacturing the virus, but when the Biden administration accused China of the same, the reaction was calm, composed and very unlike China’s previous diplomatic overtures.