U.S./Chinese conflict heating up


Crystal McCarty

Though China’s total area is slightly smaller than the United States, it has more than four times as many inhabitants. The far easter country has stepped up its military presence in the region and most military analysts now see it as the leading competitor to the U.S. on the global stage.

Crystal McCarty, Editor/Reporter

It’s the early 1950’s. A civil war breaks out in China, causing the communist army to take over Chiang Kai-shek (the leader) and the country. Chiang Kai-shek and his 1.5 million supporters that lived in China, fled to Taiwan. Chinese politics and customs dominated Taiwans for many years. And in the 25 years that Chiang Kai-shek was leading the country, many things in Taiwan changed. Luckily, around the 1980’s the relationship between Taiwan and China began to improve. 1991 was when the People’s Republic of China war ended. “‘One country, two systems’” is something that China proposed to Taiwan in 1997 that would let Taiwan have a good amount of self-government but be under China’s control at the same time.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have recently flaired after China sent a balloon drifting over the northern United States in January. According to China it was a weather balloon, but the U.S. military said it was a spy balloon, one of several that have drifted over the U.S. in the last few years. According to military officials, the balloons are one more form of aggression that China has recently engaged in as it tries to take a stronger footing on the world stage and push back against the U.S.’s stance on Taiwan.

Mr. Grogan, a social studies teacher here at NCHS, shares that “China is trying to declare that Taiwan is in their territory, and the other non-communists countries are like, No!” Taiwan wants to become completely independent. Admiral Lee Hsi-min, who is part of the Overall Defense Concept (ODC) says Taiwaneese people are just focusing on “resist the existential threat, effectively allocate our limited defense resources, build instant capabilities to address near-term crises, and maintain the ability to counter gray-zone coercion to maintain the public’s morals.”   

Mr.Grogan said that “This has been an area of contention for like 50 years and I want peace between the two.” Grogan is planning to go to Taiwan during spring break with his kids, so he hopes that there will not be a conflict between the two. 

MaryKate, a freshman in the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program within the Natrona County School District, went to China in 5th grade. She says “I know that China is a very ruling place and they want Taiwan.” Both Lacko and Grogan’s kids are a part of a program called the DLI where the school district gets native speakers from China to sign a contract and come to America to teach local students. MaryKate said that “But China is way different to visitors than it is to people that actually live there. China is a very political and strict place.” It may appear to some that Taiwan does not want to have a war or any type of disagreement with China, they just want to become independent, but Taiwan is nowhere near unprepared. Taiwan has 300,000 troops active and ready to go. Also, “The United States is and has been an ally with Taiwan” said Grogan, which shows the decision to stand with or against the Taiwan military is a difficult choice to make. The problem here is that China believes that Taiwan belongs to them because closeness of the region and because they have had some sort of power over Taiwan for years.

In the GlobalAsia 2021 Magazine, Professor Margaret Lewis, who teaches at Seton Hall Law School, states “Taiwan cannot maintain its existence free from Beijing’s control without US support, and it is in Washington’s interest to maintain Taiwan as a democratic society.” With this conflict, it is hard to know where the US should stand. Taiwan is slowly gaining indepedence through help from neighboring countries and the Taiwan people knowing that there is something they should not be okay with.