Taiwan Assurance Act only further erodes U.S. credibility and legitimacy
Andy Mok
Editor's Note: Andy Mok is managing director at Red Pagoda Resources and a non-resident fellow at Center for China and Globalization. The article reflects the author's opinion and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
As the overall China-U.S. relationship is being tested in unprecedented ways, the recent passage of the Taiwan Assurance Act by the House of Representatives only serves to further strain this relationship while also threatening regional peace and stability.
But from the broader perspective of global diplomacy, it also risks further eroding the U.S.' already diminished credibility and legitimacy in this larger arena.
Like a gigantic battleship, the United States can absorb many blows, albeit mostly self-inflicted, to its global reputation and still continue, however limpingly, to navigate the high seas of international relations. However, even the mightiest of ships will sink when damaged enough.
From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. has embarked on a series of epic strategic misadventures of staggering financial cost. For example, the so-called War on Terror has cost the United States approximately 5.6 trillion U.S. dollars, according to the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute.
A picture taken on April 7, 2018, shows a general view of the Shorja market in central Baghdad. /VCG Photo

A picture taken on April 7, 2018, shows a general view of the Shorja market in central Baghdad. /VCG Photo

Besides the misspent monies, these misadventures have hardened global opinion against the United States and provoked it into alienating itself from some of the most crucial regions of the world.
Discerning observers of geopolitics have noted the ease with which a seemingly insignificant non-state actor goaded the largest military power in the world into a strategic defeat of unprecedented scale.
And it is in these circles in capitals around the world from Ankara to Brasilia, Nairobi, Seoul, and Riyadh that the fate of the United States as a meaningful actor in global diplomacy is being decided.
Regarding China, the United States is suffering a similar fate.
For example, the United States vociferously and strenuously attempted to arm-twist countries to boycott the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Yet despite its efforts, even the UK, the country with whom the U.S. shares a "special relationship" and elected a prime minister written into history books as "Bush's poodle," signed on.
By doing so, it joined 56 other founding member countries with total membership at the end of 2018 reaching 93 countries.
The United States has also attempted a campaign against China's Belt and Road Initiative with predictable results. Instead of demonstrating global leadership, this has only served to highlight the growing divergence between the United States and the countries on which it depends for diplomatic, military and intelligence support.
Huawei's 5G exhibition at the China International Information Communication Technology Exhibition, September 28, 2018. /VCG Photo

Huawei's 5G exhibition at the China International Information Communication Technology Exhibition, September 28, 2018. /VCG Photo

For example, even G7 and founding NATO countries like Italy have joined, with others soon to follow.
Similarly, the United States has expended an astonishing amount of diplomatic energy promoting a transparently self-serving and self-defeating rationale to prohibit its allies and other countries from adopting Huawei gear for the transition to a 5G world, despite Huawei offering cheaper and more technologically advanced equipment than its competitors.
The American message has been "Do what we want because, even if it's not in your interest, it is in ours." And countries around the world have been voting with their feet (and their pocketbooks).
So far, dozens of countries have selected Huawei, including the UK, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and the ROK.
The recent spate of Taiwan-focused legislation, including the Taiwan Assurance Act, will only continue this trend of alienating the United States from countries on which it depends and further marginalizing itself from the important affairs of the world beyond its borders.
While these proposed laws may serve to temporarily unite Republicans and Democrats and the executive branch with the legislative one, the costs the country as a whole will face in the global community will be greater by far.
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