Teddoman wrote:urodacus wrote:Well, Nixon started the ball rollong with his historic visit in 1972 but it was only during the Carter administration in 1979 that the PRC was officially recognised.
Yes but in terms of cajones, I always thought Nixon got credit for it. I vaguely remember something from a book saying that only a Republican could get away with Sino-US rapproachment, much like only a Southern Democrat could get away with the first Civil Rights Act. I'm sure it took a while to formalize (plus obviously Nixon's term ended prematurely) but I thought the credit goes to Nixon/Kissenger.
The Taiwanese have had to watch pretty much every US president from Nixon onwards change their initially "tough on communism" stance and start kowtowing to Beijing. They were shocked and angry by Nixon's trip to China, but they REALLY vilified Carter for "selling out the ROC." (They always called it the "ROC" or "Free China" back then, at least when referring to themselves as a political entity). The KMT enthusiastically endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980, largely thanks to his tough anti-China election rhetoric, but then watched in horror as Reagan went to China and praised it as a "so-called communist country" after visiting a street market in Beijing. Reagan also began the policy of restricting weapon sales to Taiwan, and humiliated the Taiwanese very publicly after they were caught secretly trying to make an atomic bomb (which the CIA detected thanks to spy working inside Taiwan's nuclear power industry).
The Tiananmen Square massacre happened when George Bush Sr was president. As a former ambassador to China, Bush Sr seemed to have a soft spot for the Chinese Communist Party and did everything in his power to prevent any US trade sanctions. He was quite an apologist for Beijing during that time.
Then there was Bill Clinton, who very publicly claimed that he would revoke China's "most favored nation's" status unless they improved their human rights record. A deadline was set, and the Chinese government actually went out of its way to publicly increase repression to rub Clinton's face in the dirt. The deadline came and Clinton capitulated, making some lame excuse about how things were actually improving behind the scenes and China was only arresting, murdering and torturing to "save face." Ironically, it was mostly Democrats who vilified Clinton for capitulating. Clinton bent over backwards to get China into the WTO ahead of Taiwan.
Then George Bush Jr came along. There was that incident early in his first term with a spy plane landing on Hainan Island and the American crew captured. After vowing that the USA would never discontinue its spy flights near the Chinese coast, the flights were quietly discontinued as the price of getting the crew returned. No blip in trade relations either. Bush had promised to cut Clinton's trade deficit with China, but it mushroomed. In fact, he tossed out the remaining quotas on imports of Chinese-made garments and other goods.
Obama - well, a little (but not much) tough talk about human rights, followed by the usual kowtowing to Beijing. I don't think that Taiwan can expect anything much from him.
If Romney gets elected, I'm sure he'll bend over and spread just as his predecessors have. The fact is that corporate lobbyists for companies that profit from Chinese slave labor are the ones who call the shots on US China policy.
So my conclusion - the USA will never go to war with China again, at least not on Taiwan's behalf. The Taiwanese independence folks who think that the USA is their "great protector" are living in the past. Things have changed since the days of the Korean War.