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What in the World?

The only alliance that matters to Taiwan is with the US


Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ignored warnings from China and met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, albeit in California rather than in Taiwan. The location was seen by some analysts as a sort of compromise to lessen Beijing’s anger about the meeting taking place because McCarthy originally wanted to meet in Taipei.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has seen its isolation grow as Honduras dropped its recognition of Taiwan and allied with China. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan suggests that’s not as meaningful an action as some would think because, ultimately, what matters to Taiwan and its long-term future is that its relationship with the U.S. is secure.

Excerpted from Peter’s April 6 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Today’s rainbow is brought to you by Wanaka, New Zealand. For those following Chinese relations, you’ve probably heard that Honduras just dropped its recognition of Taiwan to establish ties with mainland China. President Tsai responded with a trip to Central America to shore up diplomatic support, but will any of this determine the status of relations between Taiwan, China and the rest of the world?

While all this makes for good theater, all that matters is where the money and weapons go. And the country to watch is the U.S.

Taiwan and U.S. trade negotiations are already underway and will likely be wrapped up here soon. Once they’ve reached an agreement and Taiwan becomes a fully integrated trade partner, they’ll be treated as an independent country in every capacity but name.

Hi, everyone, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Wanaka, New Zealand, which is just a place too beautiful, really for words. the latest, I mean, look at this, this is the full arc, it’s just stupid. Anyway. For those of you who have been following Chinese relations, you know that the Chinese have been able to convince the country of Honduras to switch the recognition from Taiwan to Beijing. And as a result, the president of Taiwan, President Tsai is on her way to do a Central American tour to try to shore up the diplomatic support for the remaining handful of countries that still recognize Taiwan as the rightful representative of the Chinese people.

Ultimately, this is a lot of theater, Taiwan is a small country, China’s huge and when it comes down to a battle, the pocketbooks, obviously Taiwan is going to lose. But honestly, that is not what is going to decide the status of relations between the island and the mainland and the island and the rest of the world. That is dependent on the actual policies as opposed to things like recognition, but actually where you’re putting your money and your weapons, with much larger countries.

And of course, the country that is always going to matter the most in that is the United States. And the United States has begun free trade negotiations with the Taiwanese it will probably wrap up within a year, at which point treating Taiwan as an independent country will not simply be core to American bipartisan foreign policy, but a core to domestic economic and trade policy as well. And when that happens, it really doesn’t matter. What the does your system is for recognizing Taiwan as an independent country or not, because it will be a fully-fledged integrated system in American law. And once that happens, the degree to which the United States can take action and promote military ties is going to be just like it will be for any other country. And we will have recognition by the United States of Taiwan as an independent country in everything that matters except for name and undoing that is something that would require an American president to do something that is starkly against what has been the building bipartisan consensus now for 15 years. So we’re getting to full recognition. We’re getting there very quickly, and we’re not doing it on by paper. We’re doing it with the rubber hitting the road. Anyway, that’s it for me on that topic. I’ll see you guys again soon.

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