The KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA) organized the seminar on “The Security and the Strategic Posture in the Taiwan Strait” at the CBGA Conference & Dialogue Room on Saturday, 13th August 2022. M. Ali Siddique, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka and Adjunct Research Fellow, CBGA and Aditi Chakrovorty, Senior Research Associate at CBGA were the Speakers of the session. M. Aynul Islam, Research Director of CBGA, moderated the session. The session was chaired by Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain, Chair, CBGA. The seminar was held on hybrid platforms. It was attended by the CBGA Adjunct Research Fellows and other researchers. The seminar mainly focused on the security and strategic posture of the Taiwan Strait, one of the important flashpoints of world politics now. Due to its geo-strategic location encompassing global energy routes, the Taiwan strait has advent as a geo-political hotspot in recent times between and among regional and global powers. The seminar was not only discussed the general facts, which we already know, but also stated the options ahead for the world order.
Ali Siddique began his presentation by highlighting Taiwan’s geostrategic position and historical importance as it was a focal region and primary supply base for Japan in Southeast Asia during the World War II. In his talk, he recognized three variables affecting the US’s strategic and security stance towards Taiwan: geo-strategic, geo-economic, and security. He said Taiwan’s geostrategic position prompted the US to change its Taiwan policy. In regard to security issues, the presenter stated five fundamental themes of US policy towards Taiwan from 1979 to the present, reflecting US uncertainty from the beginning in this area. The presenter cited US policy ambiguity as a major cause of the Taiwan issue sparked by Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
Aditi Chakrovorty addressed “Security and Strategic Posture in the Taiwan Strait: Chinese Perspective.” She came across with several questions to forward her explanations. Why is Taiwan important for Chia? Why does China see the visit as a threat? What is China’s strategic and security postures? Through her discussion she tried to unfold the questions. To her, China saw Nancy Pelosi’s visit as an attack on its sovereignty. She said the economic and military ramifications of Sino-US competition over Taiwan will affect Asian unity and peace, disrupt the supply chain, and provoke conflicts in Kashmir, the Korean peninsula, Spratly Island, and Sakhalin Island.
The open discussion session covered issues like militarization and the remilitarization of the strait. The challenge posited by the other global emerging powers to topple the unchallenged position of the USA in the region was also discussed. The effects of the upcoming November US election on the strait issue were among other concerns as well.
Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain, Chair of the session, concluded the seminar with his final remarks. He mentioned several points to sum up the discussion. First, from the United States’ viewpoint, he described the United States’ changing policy regarding Taiwan as a matter of concern after all these years against China’s national interests. Second, Dr. Hossain underlined an additional tendency in current Sino-American interactions. Another part of the problem is that Taiwan determines the nature of the relationship between China and the United States whether it would be cooperative or confrontational. The once undisputed dominance of the United States in the Indo-Pacific area is now being seriously challenged, not just by China but also by other regional players like BRICS countries. In the third viewpoint of the session, the chair described a hostile international political scenario in which developing countries would suffer the most due to the act of the Sino-US rivalry. There is a significant concern that neither the developing world nor China would recover from this catastrophe within a very period of time. In addition, Russia’s conduct in Ukraine and China’s response in Taiwan are both suicidal since the West anticipated such a response from Russia and China. In contrast, by focusing on the Chinese and Russian economies, the West is targeting emerging nations that are inclined largely to China and Russia. The dilemma involved not just China and the United States, but also emerging and developed nations.