Biden's Taiwan orbit: Rooting for disorder and discontent
Bobby Naderi
A night view of Taipei 101 in Taipei, China's Taiwan region, June 13, 2015. /CFP

A night view of Taipei 101 in Taipei, China's Taiwan region, June 13, 2015. /CFP

Editor's note: Bobby Naderi is a London-based journalist, guest contributor in print, radio and television, and documentary filmmaker. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

What we are witnessing is a geo-strategic mistake of an unparalleled sort. On August 29, two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait in the first such operation since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Chinese island at the beginning of the month. China's People's Liberation Army slammed the provocation and said it tracked the U.S. warships as they made the transit.

Call it provocation or a new cold war, it's been more than 30 years since the old one went to its grave. Call it mission creep on steroids. Call it forever escalation or U.S. President Joe Biden's Taiwan orbit desperate to contain China. Whatever this is, at the very least, it seems like evidence that this is what now passes for the Biden doctrine and his top national security officials: Institutionalizing Pentagon in the Taiwan Strait.

Despite China's consistent warnings, the Pentagon insisted earlier this month that they would continue to operate in the region, for which the accountants of the military-industrial complex will always be thankful. But is this adjacent to international maritime norms and laws? Quite the opposite. It's rooting for disorder and discontent both at home and abroad.

Contra China, contra U.S.

There are few ostensible reasons for censoring critics of this latest unchecked provocation. On a planet that needs greater cooperation between the two major economic powers, the Biden administration's unchecked antipathy toward Beijing is both contra China and contra U.S. It is, however, fundamental to the War Party's regional arms trade, naval incitements and goalpost shifting on the tentative status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

A lot of what is happening in the Chinese peripheries is symbolic, but these symbolic acts can have substantive and inevitable impacts on bilateral ties. The hostility toward Beijing isn't rooted so much in the fact that it has never tried to take its own island by force, but that the Chinese foreign policy consists of the principle of saying no to foreign military presence and interference in regional affairs.

This, of course, is perceived as a problem for Washington down the line, and that's just one reason why Capitol Hill and war-friendly think tanks and research centers sent Pelosi to Taiwan to tell its clueless leader Tsai Ing-wen that her controversial visit made it "unequivocally clear" that America "will not abandon Taiwan."

It is safe to argue that war-friendly Washington is not going to change the course of its military fiascos, cost overruns, dud weapons systems and profligate waste. This is not just about China. It's also about protecting the war economy which rules the global arms industry and international transfers of major arms with a global share of 39 percent, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

This is not a sci-fi novel. War is the bedrock of the U.S. economy. The war-friendly cabal thrives on international conflicts and arms transfers. They may never leave the South China Sea alone. It is highly unlikely that they will stop the U.S. military from flying, sailing and operating in the Taiwan Strait because it's good for business and creates jobs for Americans, according to the Pentagon's generals.

Members of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army clean weapons ahead of deployment to Poland from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, February 14, 2022. /CFP

Members of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army clean weapons ahead of deployment to Poland from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, February 14, 2022. /CFP

Dumbed-down transgressions

The signs are there for all to see that the U.S. Navy admirals are playing the victim card again: "These U.S. ships transited through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state," the U.S. Navy said, adding that "the operation demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the U.S. military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows."

It's obvious that they don't want to take responsibility (a classic sign of victim behavior) for their dumbed-down naval transgressions, nor stop controlling the public narrative and assault on truth. The admirals have trouble accepting that the U.S. Navy has contributed to regional insecurity and for the circumstance they are in.

In its totality, they point the finger at Beijing and ignore their provocative role in perpetuating the current escalatory situation — the  Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command said it was following the ships and warning them. "Troops in the theater remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time," it added in a statement.

Ultimately, U.S. military demonstrations in the Taiwan Strait are highly unlikely to lead to the resolution of any other issues in the region. Its bullish supporters and media lackeys could always take a different, more positive approach as per rules-based international order and multi-polarity.

Until America's officialdom and their militarists distance themselves from the politics of permanent war and censorship, and permit their erroneous concern for Taiwan's security to be tested by positive engagement and dialogue with Beijing, their strategic blunders and consequences of those blunders will continue to pile up and get worse in this open-ended amplified circus in the Taiwan Strait.

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