While the USA Sleeps, China Gradually Isolates Taiwan
The countries bailing on Taiwan are all small African, Asian and Latin American nations who have economic ties to the Beijing government. Needless to say, to continue doing business with Beijing, they have to renounce Taiwan’s independence as a nation.
Meanwhile, the mainland government has aggressively been demanding businesses to stop referring to Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong as a separate countries, or they will lose their access to the mainland. All of these businesses have just rolled over and changed references to make Big China happy.
While chipping away at Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, Beijing has also been busy pressuring companies into accepting its own firm position on the island. This year, international companies from Marriott to Gap to Delta have issued public apologies for violating the “one China” policy and hurting Chinese feelings by implying in one way or another that Taiwan is a country.
In the past, the USA would have pushed back on the mainland government’s efforts to sideline Taiwan. Aside from the traditional American role of supporting democracy (or at least paying it lip service), there are strategic advantages to defending Taiwan’s independence. If the mainland manages to absorb Taiwan, it will claim even more sovereignty over the waters of the East China Sea. to the detriment of Japan and the Philippines, which already have had issues with Chinese fishing and naval vessels encroaching on their waters.
As it is, Trump & Co. see more financial benefits from letting Beijing have its way (see also, ZTE) than to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty. We may see Taiwan become part of the People’s Republic of China much sooner than anyone expected, because of Trump’s wrong-headed isolationism and greed.