US-China Power Competition in Indo-Pacific Region and Its Implications for Taiwan Strait Relations

Article

The current confrontation between the United States and China affects both world politics and the order of the Indo-Pacific region. The Biden administration sees China not only as a threat to the Indo-Pacific region by pursuing its “sphere of influence”, but also as an attempt to become “the world's most influential power”, posing a serious challenge to the United States....

Wen-sheng CHEN
Professor
Department of Government and Law
National University of Kaohsiung
Taiwan, Republic of China

ABSTRACT

The current confrontation between the United States and China affects both world politics and the order of the Indo-Pacific region. The Biden administration sees China not only as a threat to the Indo-Pacific region by pursuing its “sphere of influence“, but also as an attempt to become “the world's most influential power“, posing a serious challenge to the United States. China has also taken measures to counter the U.S. The confrontational relationship between the United States and China will undoubtedly affect the alliance behavior and interaction of the Indo-Pacific countries.

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022 not only highlights the international community’s attention to the Indo-Pacific region, but also makes scholars and practitioners concerned about China's actions towards Taiwan and the situation in the Taiwan Strait. Coincidentally, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives with a strong sense of anti-China, visited Taiwan in August 2022, and became the highest-ranking American official to set foot in Taiwan in a quarter century. Sensitive China has been worried about the loosening of the US “one China“ policy while Taiwan has reverie toward independence. The enraged China responded by holding missile tests and military exercises encircling the Taiwan island, and the Taiwan Strait was suddenly shrouded in a political cloud.

The development of Taiwan Strait relations has long revolved around the US-China-Taiwan triangular relationship. The power competition between the United States and China would bring about the new structural changes in the Indo-Pacific region and also give a new look to the Taiwan Strait situation. The paper attempts to explore the current nature of the power struggle between the United States and China, its impact on the Indo-Pacific region, and the changes in the triangular relationship between the United States, China and Taiwan.

  1. INTRODUCTION
The characteristics of the international political structure affect both the diplomatic behavior of states and the interaction between them. The international system during the Cold War was characterized by the confrontation between the two superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991and the decline of its heir Russia, the rising China replaced Russia as the imaginary enemy of the United States. Therefore, the current international structure has increasingly formed a pattern of US-China confrontation.

The United States has emphasized a rules-based international order since World War II. This order has been dominated by the United States and operated with American interests. So far, the international community is characterized by the world order under the hegemonic leadership of the United States, which is the maker and enforcer of international rules. However, the United States feels the challenge of China's increasing national strength, it regards China as the main hostile power, and the international community has gradually formed a confrontational situation between the U.S. and China. Their confrontation in the Indo-Pacific region is most prominent.

Taiwan Strait is located to the southeast of Mainland China, separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia. The Taiwan Strait situation has long revolved around the US-China-Taiwan triangular relationship. The relationship between Taiwan and China deserves attention on the issue of sovereignty; Taiwan has a sovereignty dispute with China, and China has not renounced its use of force against Taiwan to achieve cross-strait reunification. In fact, the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2022 not only showed that the conflict in the Indo-Pacific region was a major concern for the international community, but had also made some scholars and practitioners focus on China’s possible moves towards Taiwan.

As a superpower in the world and a major player in Indo-Pacific region, the United States' policy towards the two sides of Taiwan Strait has impacted its situation greatly. Besides, China's aggressive actions against Taiwan will affect Taiwan's future and implicate neighboring countries, and even undermine peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, so that it has aroused great international attention. The current confrontation between the US and China affects both the order of the Indo-Pacific region and the situation across Taiwan Strait.

In fact, the power competition between the United States and China would bring about the new structural changes in the Indo-Pacific region and also give a new look to the Taiwan Strait situation. The paper attempts to explore the current nature of the power struggle between the United States and China and the impact it has on the Indo-Pacific region and to evaluate the changes in the triangular relationship between the United States, China and Taiwan.

This content is protected by Copyright under the Trademark Certificate. It may be partially quoted, provided that the source is cited, its link is given and the name and title of the editor/author (if any) is mentioned exactly the same. When these conditions are fulfilled, there is no need for additional permission. However, if the content is to be used entirely, it is absolutely necessary to obtain written permission from TASAM.

Areas

Continents ( 5 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 472 ) Actiivities ( 219 )
Areas
TASAM Africa 0 149
TASAM Asia 0 236
TASAM Europe 0 44
TASAM Latin America & Carribea... 0 34
TASAM North America 0 9
Regions ( 4 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 178 ) Actiivities ( 54 )
Areas
TASAM Balkans 0 93
TASAM Middle East 0 62
TASAM Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
TASAM Mediterranean 0 7
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 75 )
Areas
TASAM Islamic World 0 147
TASAM Turkic World 0 29
TASAM Türkiye ( 1 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 229 ) Actiivities ( 60 )
Areas
TASAM Türkiye 0 229

The current confrontation between the United States and China affects both world politics and the order of the Indo-Pacific region. The Biden administration sees China not only as a threat to the Indo-Pacific region by pursuing its “sphere of influence”, but also as an attempt to become “the world's...;