25 June, 2021

Toeing The Red Line

Taipei's neighbours are keen to avoid irking Beijing

Toeing The Red Line

THE credibility of the ASEAN RegionalForum (ARF) will be seriously questioned if the 18-member-grouping fails to play a role in resolving the China-Taiwan crisis, admittedly the most destabilising security problem in the region since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

Though it's well-placed to do so, it seems the ARF is not going to play much of a role at its next meeting, slated for mid-1996. This is because China, a key ARF member, is unlikely to allow the grouping to encroach into what it regards as essentially a bilateral matter, a family quarrel even.

Once the Taiwan poll results came out, ARF member countries said they adhered to the one-China policy, under which Taiwan is treated as an integral part of China. Thai Defence Minister General Chavalit Yong-chaiyudh said the ARF believed tensions between China and Taiwan could only be resolved peacefully when it was regarded as an internal affair of the Chinese. China, he said, would not want to disrupt the economic development of Asia, but he added that recent Chinese military...

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