In his first foreign policy speech as President of the United States, Joe Biden displayed an unwavering determination to tackle China. The United States must “be there in the face of the advance of authoritarianism, in particular the growing ambitions of China”, he insisted. While President Biden has not presented any concrete details as to the strategy he wants to implement, the news of this weekend offers him an opportunity to move directly from words to actions.
The diplomatic crisis that has opened up between Taiwan and Guyana places the United States face to face with its responsibilities. The sudden and unilateral decision of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to end the agreement signed last month allowing the opening of a Taiwanese office in the small South American state of 780,000 people has sparked anger and the misunderstanding of Taipei. Officially announced by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 4, this agreement was welcomed by both the State Department and the American embassy in Georgetown, which saw in it the possibility of “advancing security, democracy and prosperity in the region ”. For Taiwan, this agreement represented an important victory in its quest for international recognition. Only 15 countries officially recognize Taiwan, which is still considered by Beijing as a Chinese province, called upon to enter the fold of the People’s China, if necessary by force. The back-pedaling of Guyana’s authorities also marks a personal defeat for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. If 2020 was a good year for Tsai with a triumphant re-election, the absence of any diplomatic defection (a first since coming to power in 2016) and the praise of the international press for his exemplary management in the coronavirus crisis, 2021 s ‘Announcement, on the other hand, is more difficult with the centenary of the creation of the Chinese Communist Party and Beijing’s desire to take advantage of the massive distribution of its vaccines, Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino, to increase its influence abroad.