Since 1979, the US has adhered to the One China policy, which recognizes Beijing as the legitimate ruler of all China, including Taiwan. This means the US has had no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and any contact has been low key.
At the same time however, under the Taiwan Relation Act, the US has continued to supply defensive arms to Taiwan and tells them that they would come to Taiwan’s aid if there is a Chinese attack.
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu responded to military operations by China not far from the country’s border recently by saying “We will fight the war if we need to fight the war. And if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day we will defend ourselves to the very last day,”
Admiral John Aquilino said about their intentions: “They view it as their No. 1 priority. The rejuvenation of the Chinese Communist party is at stake, very critical, as they look at the problem.”
There would obviously be serious loss of life if there was a war between China and the USA, but it’s not just China and the USA and Taiwan who would likely be involved in such a war.
China have made a strong alliance with Russia recently, which threatens the “quad” which is Australia, the USA, India and Japan, and even NATO, which is an alliance of even more countries.
Taiwan has had absolute reassurance that they will be protected if there is an attack, which leads them to make threats against China, who view Taiwan as part of their own empire.
Taiwanese Defence Minister Michael Tsai said “We are facing a gigantic military threat.” and that Taiwan “should strengthen its self-defence capabilities.”
Many times these shows of force are just that, to gain power in negotiations by acting tough, and even as a way to push military spending which makes weapons corporations trillions of dollars.
However there is never a time when weapons corporations make more money than in a war, even if it causes a recession, or a depression, or the loss of millions of lives, for everybody else.
Some commentators have said this conflict could spark world war three, and others have said we were already in world war three.