Guest Author: Prof. David Wang 01.11.2022


the American card
the American card

What does the US-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative says?

In June this year, the DPP authorities in Taiwan made a high-profile announcement that they would launch the “Taiwan-US 21st Century Trade Initiative” with the United States. It would significantly enhance Taiwan’s international status. However, has the dream of the DPP, Taiwan’s ruling party, flying to the top branches as a phoenix, come true ?  

What is behind the Unites States’ conspiracy, trying so hard to push through this initiative? What exactly is the US-Taiwan “21st Century Trade Initiative”? To put it simply, it can be summed up in two words: consolation ceremony and lip service.

After the US officially announced the list of countries under the IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework), the DPP, which has always claimed to be the number one loyal follower of the USA, was dumbfounded. They were not on the list of IPEF participants!  Amazement all around, but there was nothing they could do. They had to hide their disappointment with a smile. Embarrassed, the baby was displeased and bitter. But the baby he didn’t cry, he didn’t show his anger.
Then, looking at the “21st Century Trade Initiative”, this time, it looked like a candy given by a father to coax a child. The United States clearly did not want to bring Taiwan into the IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework) business, but at the same time the US didn’t want to lose its “Taiwan card” in its strategy to contain China.

Needless to say, the consolation gift after the IPEF turmoil has indeed fooled Taiwan. Taiwan took this piece of sweet candy and regarded it as a steppingstone to independence. It can be said that it is hype and propaganda. The American trick achieves the greatest effect at the least cost. It is absolutely amazing.

It is not unreasonable to say that the “21st Century Trade Initiative” is just lip service. On the one hand, as stated before, the significance of this initiative is now that it is a cardinal for boasting and showing off, the perfect way for making a big fuss and the basis for self-hypnosis. At the end, this agreement that was eagerly signed after whitewashing the USA, will obviously  be written in little Cài Yīngwén’s (Tsai Ing-wen) performance book. On the other hand, the euphemistically called “initiative” is actually a lower-end existence than the IPEF “framework”. At best, it is just a platform for dialogue between the two sides. The form is greater than the actual effect. Real outcomes will be impossible. As far as the United States is concerned, the economic significance of Taiwan’s existence is only the semiconductor industry. When Taiwan is hollowed out, the United States will die. To put it bluntly, the United States is like a scumbag. It is all the time baking cakes for Taiwan, and Taiwan has to accept all the bills. Actually, the United States is very clear in its goals: talking about economic and trade actually means controlling Taiwan. If Taiwan performs well, the USA will talk, but if it does not perform well, the USA will drop Taiwan.

Henry Kissinger once said” “To be an enemy of the US is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal”  Taiwan has to squeeze its head and rush forward. The “21st Century Trade Initiative” is a profitable, smooth road for the United States;  I hope Taiwan will not turn it into its own road to destruction.

David Wang
Is Professor of Politics and Administration, has been engaged in the teaching and research of courses such as Fundamentals of Law, Political Science, International Relations Analysis and Statistics for more than ten years. His research focuses on issues such as global governance and international rules, foreign policy and international security.