John Oliver explains America’s ‘deeply bizarre,’ weirdly sensible strategic ambiguity on Taiwan and China

Taiwan is “within the news today is due to its relationship with China, which, to place it mildly, is fraught — and just lately it is getting even fraughter,” John Oliver mentioned on Sunday’s Final Week Tonight. Principally, “China insists that Taiwan — an independently working entity with its personal democratically elected leaders, armed forces, and structure — is actually part of China, and by no means a separate nation. This is an understatement: The Chinese language authorities feels strongly about this.”

“Taiwan is such a third-rail for China,” U.S. corporations and movie stars preserve apologizing to Beijing, Oliver demonstrated. “So if China is getting T-shirt retractions from The Hole, loudly vowing to reunify with Taiwan, and sending stacks of warplanes towards it in record-breaking numbers, it seems like tonight it might be price having a look at Taiwan — the way it bought to be within the distinctive place that it is in, what the world needs from it, and most significantly, what it needs for itself.” 

Oliver began with “a ludicrously temporary historical past of the final 400 years” in Taiwan, improbably resulting in “the place we’re proper now, with Taiwan established as a extremely developed and rich nation — and but, nobody is allowed to name it one.” Solely 14 international locations and the Vatican acknowledged Taiwan as a rustic, he mentioned, whereas the U.S. has “spent the final half-century strolling a diplomatic tightrope with a coverage referred to as ‘strategic ambiguity,'” the place “uncertainty is form of the purpose, particularly on the subject of protection.”

Would the U.S. defend Taiwan in a Chinese language invasion? “Nobody actually is aware of,” Oliver mentioned. “It’s a willfully complicated, will-they-or-won’t-they dance that for 40 years has been the spine of U.S.-Taiwan coverage.” The world would not appear to have any higher concepts, however People specifically “may have a look at a spot like Taiwan, which appears to be like and acts like a rustic, and really feel that it’s bizarre and farcical to not acknowledge it as one,” he mentioned. “However from a sensible standpoint, would that be higher? And is that even what the folks of Taiwan need? Might or not it’s that sustaining the present deeply bizarre, ambiguous establishment is definitely the best choice right here?” Beijing will not like Oliver’s conclusion. (There may be NSFW language peppered all through.)

If geopolitics and historical past aren’t your issues, Final Week Tonight helped create an area automotive dealership advert, and aired it final week. Watch under. | John Oliver explains America’s ‘deeply bizarre,’ weirdly sensible strategic ambiguity on Taiwan and China


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