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50th anniversary of normalization of US-China relations


50th anniversary of normalization of US-China relations

Photo: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of US-China relations.

50 years ago, China and the US issued the Shanghai Joint Communique, normalizing relations. The relationship has developed into one of the biggest rivalries in contemporary foreign affairs.

This anniversary comes at a crucial point in world history, as Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has exposed cracks in US-China relations, wherein China has been careful to avoid sanctioning Russia. The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated this weekend that US meddling in Eastern Europe caused this conflict, and that the same meddling is fueling tensions over Taiwan. China also announced trade support for Russia to help withstand heavy sanctions.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has produced a welcome distraction from the Indo-Pacific for China. The parallels between Ukraine and Taiwan are apparent, and the Russian invasion will likely embolden China to bolster military operations around Taiwan. However, full-scale invasion of Taiwan is no easy feat, as China would need to fight overseas and somehow solve the issue of making a landing on the island country. Expect China to hold off on direct military action, but ramp up operations, incursions, and threats against Taiwan in the coming months.

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