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Either go back to the drawing board or interact with the battlements

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A few years after his wife died, a friend and I had lunch at a crab shack in Annapolis and noticed he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.Wearing the band sends a signal to society that I did not intend at all and taking it off sends a different signal which is also not intended but my only option is to wear whether or not put on the ring

This is the problem of forced binary symbols. No nuances, no evolution, no explanation.

The United States and China are currently suffering the most successfully navigated binary outcomes in diplomatic history. When both sides wrote his Shanghai Communiqué in 1972, both sides were seeking reconciliation. China forced us to choose between the two, and against our wishes, we had to choose between Beijing and Taipei. We accepted it, swallowed its inherent contradictions, and lurked its infidelity against the Soviet Union. To borrow a famous Soviet phrase, China pretended that we accepted the One China principle and pretended to respect it. This has kept the peace and made possible the prosperity of Taiwan and China for almost 50 years.

It was an extraordinary record, but it did not last long.

Following President Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the United States insists its policy toward Taiwan has not changed. This is dishonest. The One China policy cannot be reduced to a mere technological perception of Beijing over Taipei as mainland China’s government. Since 1979, One China has also been a series of deeply ingrained practices that guide American foreign policy. This was a real commitment to maintain the Shanghai Communiqué’s pretense for the sake of peace. We gave up on that promise a few years ago and entered an era of drift.

China is also dishonest. It is not wise for a nation to let other nations accept a proposition it does not believe in, and to act for half a century as if the acceptance of the alternative is sincere and eternal.

The 1972 Accord has been rendered untenable firstly by the evolution of China, the United States, and Taiwan itself, and secondly by the claims of privilege that China believes should accompany its expansion of power. . China hopes that the United States will continue to wear the One China ring and have the wisdom to do what we intend. American hawks want Washington to have the integrity to pull the damn thing off and throw it away.

The challenge now is to lower the temperature by adhering to past agreements as much as possible while building a new foundation for US-China relations. This is based on current and emerging circumstances, not past compromises. Even at the start gate this is nearly impossible. China would be unwilling to compromise on Taiwan, and the United States would be unwilling to sanction the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence beyond China’s borders.

But an attempt must be made.Theocritus said The Greeks tried and entered Troy, my dear ones. Everything is achieved by trying.

Beijing and Washington have not even tried. They’re too busy escalating their rivalry in the Western Pacific to ridiculously hope the other side doesn’t notice.

It was first published by the Asia Society’s Chinafile.