Time and time again, the US reveals itself to be an unreliable partner
Tsai Ing-Wen, the leader of Taiwan, is slated to visit California and meet with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in April.
This meeting will certainly cast an unpredictable variable on Sino-U.S. relations. The relationship between China and the US is already frosty and was only worsened by the stray balloon incident earlier this year, and more recently by increased US sanctions against Chinese companies. US officials’ visits to Taiwan, starting with last year’s provocative trip by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have ruffled feathers in Beijing, and a meeting between Tsai and McCarthy could certainly lead to an unpredictable situation.
Getting too cozy with the US will only land Taiwan in more trouble, given Washington’s history of screwing over its avowed partners. The US will stir up a war in the region by promising to support residents to the hilt and then abandoning them. This idea is well summarised in a satirical tweet by Washington, D.C. radio host and political analyst Garland Nixon, which blew up to over half a million views and got him denounced by the Taiwanese ‘Foreign Ministry’.
BREAKING NEWS: White House insiders leak that, when asked if there could be any greater disaster than the neocon Ukraine project, President Biden responded, “wait until you see our plan for the destruction of Taiwan.”
— Garland Nixon (@GarlandNixon) February 15, 2023
“You should do what the people of Europe did not do, and that is you should look out for your own interests. The Americans are looking out for their interests at the expense of others,” was Nixon’s advice for the residents of Taiwan when I spoke to him in the first episode of my new YouTube show The Source.
“What the US Empire causes first and foremost, is instability. They’ve caused instability in Ukraine at an existential level. They’ve created dramatic instability in the EU. Look at where the US has been for the last 25-30 years in the War on Terror. The Middle East – instability. So they are going to cause dramatic instability on your island,” he continued.
“You have a superpower right next door. In order to maintain stability, you’re going to have to have a stable relationship with China [referring to the Chinese mainland]. The United States is 7,000 miles away. They will leave you, they will set you up to be destroyed and then they’ll walk away,” he concluded.
Nixon cited numerous examples of Washington’s record on this exact issue. These include the US promising to support Kurdish forces if they stood against Saddam Hussein in the 1990s and then abandoning them to their fate when they did just that; abandoning people that worked with Washington during the war in Afghanistan; and the US helping to destroy Syria and leaving a presence only meant to steal the country’s oil and deter Iranian influence, while making sure to leave crippling sanctions in place.
This behavioral pattern does not simply apply to adversaries. It also applies to supposed allies. Nixon mentioned that the EU economy is in the gutter thanks to the bloc following US-dictated policies over the Ukraine crisis. The EU is also slowly but surely joining the US high-tech war on China, which is sure to damage European companies immensely.
In perhaps the most recent example of Washington sticking it to its own allies, the South China Morning Post reported on March 10 that the US is upping its beef exports to China, taking advantage of Australia instigating tensions with Beijing and losing market share. So, as the West encourages Canberra to poke the dragon and lose a major beef export destination, Uncle Sam fills that hole by giving its companies a new foothold.
“After all these trade measures were put up, the Americans kept saying they had our back, they were standing firm with us but they are selling more wine, more beef,” Geoff Raby, a former Australian ambassador to China, told the paper. “So much for the loyal ally.”
This type of situation is not new. As I wrote in December 2021, the US exported 5.4 million tons of coal to China in the first half of 2021, compared to 531,000 tons for the same period a year ago – an absurdly high 920% year-on-year increase. In the same period in 2019, the US exported just over 771,000 tons to China. This massive increase in American coal exports came after Beijing imposed a virtual ban on Australian coal after Canberra raised the ‘lab leak’ theory of COVID-19’s origin and decried ‘Chinese aggression.’
In fairness, China has tried to mend things with Australia in recent months by walking back its coal ban, plus the US greatly decreased its sale of coal to China in the year 2022. But that still came only after being called out by the Aussies over their hypocrisy and lack of vision.
So when Uncle Sam tells the Aussies to jump, Canberra asks, “How high?” They perform their duty, get punished by a foreign adversary and Washington leaves them in the ditch. It’s not about a grand strategy or empire-building, it’s about helping American companies make some bucks. That’s it. In our conversation, Nixon also put forward the idea that with the US moving the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Arizona, they’d want the original one destroyed.
You can consider the US a reliable country if you trust its record, Nixon said, and that record shows that it’s going to screw everyone over to line its corporations’ pockets – friend or foe alike. It doesn’t matter. That’s just how Washington behaves. So for anyone sitting in Taiwan, Australia, Europe or any other place where your government is following Washington’s tune without protest: you better watch it, or else.