第三，臺灣確實被中國視爲核心利益，但當我們從臺灣角度來看美中關係時，容易因爲抱持着過高的期待，而忽略了臺灣只是美中雙方諸多分歧與不同意見的衆多議題之一，因此我們常會看到臺灣出現在美中聯合聲明的篇幅，並沒有像臺灣媒體所期待的比例來得大。有許多關心臺灣的人經常過度戲劇化描述臺灣在美中談判桌上的地位，例如外媒最近刊登的臺灣是國際間戰略和經濟的一個大彩蛋，這對臺灣的現況實在沒有幫助。在筆者看來，臺灣應該注意，避免過度膨脹自身的重要性（develop an inflated sense of its importance）。
Simulation Once Again Reveals Risk for Taiwan
By Ross Darrell Feingold
Former Asia Chairman Republicans Abroad
The recent simulation hosted by China Times at which the two sides attempted to reach the modest goal of issuing a joint statement and arranging a meeting for President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping to meet at the upcoming G20 summit once again revealed several truths that Taiwan must humbly confront.
First the exercise occurred hours prior to the announcement by the Australia United Kingdom and United States about their new AUKUS security alliance directed at China. The exercise organizers did an admirable job of introducing breaking news events to the exercise that might affect the negotiating positions of the two sides and the outcome of the exercise. Neither organizers nor participants could anticipate the AUKUS announcement but had it occurred shortly before or during the exercise the dynamics would be significantly different. The likelihood that the two sides could issue a joint statement or agree to a leaders meeting would have been significantly reduced. This demonstrates that in the real world for Taiwan the ability to obtain intelligence about national security related developments is crucial to its survival. Although we can speculate whether Taiwan was aware of AUKUS prior to the public announcement the likelihood is that Taiwan was unaware and had to react after the announcement just as other governments in Asia did.
The dichotomy of Taiwan’s government which opposes the domestic use of nuclear power welcoming the possibility of nuclear-powered Australian submarines patrolling the waters near Taiwan indicates that the Taiwan government did not have a response prepared beforehand.
Secondly in negotiating the language of a joint statement it was no surprise that with regard to Taiwan each side insisted on the usual language that China and the United States typically use when issuing statements following bilateral meetings. This wording is standard in such statements notwithstanding China’s displeasure at the many actions to normalize U.S. – Taiwan relations taken by the Trump Administration and more recently to some extent by the Biden Administration. But even if the United States sometimes makes minor adjustments to this wording ultimately in unilateral or bilateral public statements with China the United States continues to make the usual references to the Taiwan Relations Act and the United States’ One China policy.
Although bilateral U.S.-Taiwan statements usually refer to the strength of the relationship in ever-more elaborate words a breakthrough for how the United States is willing to describe its relationship with Taiwan when making unilateral statements or joint statements with China is yet to be achieved.
Third although Taiwan remains a core interest for China Taiwan was one among the numerous issues that both sides discussed and sought to include in the joint statement. Certainly the Chinese side had many issues about which it wanted to express its disagreement with United States policies. Similarly the United States also had numerous issues it wanted to discuss. When looking at U.S.-China relations and specifically the issue of Taiwan in the context of U.S.-China relations from our vantage point in Taiwan we often make the mistake of forgetting that Taiwan is one among many issues in the U.S.-China relationship. Taiwan is not the only issue China wants to discuss in bilateral meetings and thus there is limited time in discussions or space in joint statements for Taiwan. It does not help that well intentioned foreign friends of Taiwan often dramatically refer to Taiwan using descriptions as a foreign media report recently did that Taiwan is an immense strategic and economic prize. In this author’s view Taiwan should be careful that it does not develop an inflated sense of its importance.
Fourth the United States team which consisted of political appointees and not career diplomats attempted to maintain a positive attitude and engage with the Chinese side rather than break off discussions. This is consistent with the typical Democratic Party foreign policy (and President Biden’s) style. Whether the issue is Afghanistan Iran or Taiwan the Biden Administration willingness to talk with the other side will continue to fuel critics concerns about the prudence of its foreign policies.
Finally the two sides very much wanted to arrange a meeting at the upcoming G20 between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. At least in the simulation no issue appears to prevent the desire to meet whether Taiwan Hong Kong Xinjiang the South China Sea concerns about China’s actions along the Belt and Road or in the Pacific trade disputes or human rights in China. Such a meeting is risky for Taiwan because even if Biden states concerns about China’s threats to use force against Taiwan there is a likelihood that Biden will also reiterate that the U.S. will adhere to its One China policy and will not establish diplomatic relations or enter into a military alliance with Taiwan. If Taiwan’s government thinks it is risky for Taiwan politicians to meet with Xi Jinping for the sake of consistency and to protect Taiwan’s interests it can consider to openly deliver the same message to foreign governments too.