The tensions between China and Taiwan have always existed but are now at their peak from the last few years. Taiwan identified as an independent nation in 1949 when the ROC government relocated to the island nation after a long battle with the Communist Party of China which has control of mainland China. Since then, both Taiwan and China have co-existed as separate nations but the relations of the two countries are strained. The involvement of other world powers including the United States have effectively delayed a war between the two countries which otherwise seemed inevitable.
The United States is the largest weapon manufacturer and exporter in the world. It has helped Taiwan in its military needs with various equipment to protect its national integrity. Taiwan is a major importer of weapons because of its tensions with China. Private US weapon contracting companies including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are the most eminent weapon manufacturers in the US and had been functioning in both Taiwan and China along with the rest of the world.
Upset with the companies were providing Taiwan with weapons to resist a Chinese invasion, the Chinese Government has now banned the senior executives from both the weapon manufacturing firms from entering the country. The ban extends to not allowing them to stay and work in China.
China – Taiwan Tensions:
The tense situation between the two countries has been a longstanding issue in the international community. Ever since Taiwan’s independence in 1949, the Beijing government has denied to identify Taiwan as a separate nation and claims it to be an integral part of China. However, the situation is a lot more complex because most other nations including India and the United States have unofficial diplomatic relations with Taiwan but also keep up their relations with China. Taiwan is also an important partner in terms of both military and trade for a lot of countries but China too provides an important market and labor force with its population of over 140 crores.
The United States has kept relations with the Taiwanese community for a long time in an attempt to defer any military action from the Chinese government. China too in recent years has been trying to isolate Taiwan in the international community. The communist country has been conducting military exercises and missile tests close to the Taiwanese side to display its dominance. The country has also warned the United States to not interfere in their matters with Taiwan by supplying them with weapons to protect and retaliate.
Role of US weapon contractors:
Some eminent weapon manufacturers from the United States have been assisting the Taiwanese in their struggle with China. However, the Chinese government is bothered by these suppliers which have made it harder for them to take over the Taiwanese territory without significant loss. Moreover, some of these companies had also been operating in the Chinese mainland, making profits from both the countries at the same time.
Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest weapon manufacturers in the world, is also an important supplier of weapons to the Taiwanese armed forces. The firm has been responsible for supplying them with radars, helicopters and air traffic control equipment. They have also played a significant role in helping the island country to manufacture its own fighter jets and naval frigates domestically. The firm was also operating in China where it was looking after the domestic air traffic control equipment needs for commercial use.
Response from China:
Earlier, China had taken actions against Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to discourage the US based firms from helping Taiwan. They had also added the firm to the list of companies which were unreliable because of their relations with their rival nation. Now, the Chinese government has imposed a ban on the senior executives of these companies which prevents them from residing and operating in the country.
Although other countries have proposed a peaceful resolution of the problems between the two countries, the Chinese side is hesitant to lose an opportunity to take Taiwan into their territory. Since the scale of the problems has been escalating, it is unlikely that this issue will be resolved anytime soon but a war between the two in unlikely in current scenario. The international community has their eyes set on the two because they realize that any war could mean problems for the entire world and a probable start of a third world war. The Russia-Ukraine war has been a good lesson, the war between the two neighbors has drastically impacted countries in Europe which are several miles away.