Now there is a damn good question.
Well Pelosi goes to Taiwan and pisses China off….and China in retaliation…..
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has departed Taiwan—and China has launched what are believed to be its biggest-ever military drills around the island, which it has long vowed to reunify with the mainland, by force if necessary. For the first time since 1996, China has fired missiles into waters around Taiwan, reports Reuters. The drills, which China says will last from Thursday to Sunday, are taking place in six zones around the island, some of them stretching into Taiwan’s territorial waters, encircling the island and disrupting shipping in what experts describe as a temporary blockade, the Wall Street Journal reports. More:
- Taiwan says China “imitated North Korea.” Taiwan’s foreign ministry strongly condemned China’s actions, accusing the country of imitating North Korea with its missile launches, the Guardian reports. The ministry urged the international community to join the condemnation and support Taiwan’s democratic government.
- “Precision strikes.” China, which had warned of “serious consequences” if Pelosi went to Taiwan, said it carried out precision strikes in exercises involving its air force, navy, and other service branches, the AP reports. “Long-range armed live fire precision missile strikes were carried out on selected targets in the eastern area of the Taiwan Strait,” the People’s Liberation Army said in a statement. “The expected outcome was achieved.”
A trial run for invasion? Analysts—including Major Gen. Meng Xiangqing, a professor of strategy at the PLA’s National Defense University in Beijing who was interviewed on state TV—see the exercises as a trial run for a longer blockade and possible invasion, the New York Times reports. “Under the guise of signaling, they’re trying to basically test their ability to conduct complex maneuvers that are necessary for an amphibious assault on Taiwan,” says Oriona Skylar Mastro at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Meng said the encirclement “creates very good conditions for reshaping the strategic situation in a way that benefits unification.”
China says it’s an internal affair. China rejected accusations of violating international law, saying its dealings with Taiwan are an internal affair. “Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces is reasonable, lawful,” China’s Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office said, per Reuters.
- Shipping disrupted. The drills have forced ships using the Taiwan Strait, one of the world’s busiest waterways, to reroute, which will add to the global disruption of supply chains, the BBC reports. More than 50 international flights to and from Taiwan were canceled Thursday because of the drills.
- In China, some wanted more. Social media users in China who applauded Beijing’s tough rhetoric ahead of Pelosi’s visit said they were disappointed her plane hadn’t been shot down or blocked from landing, reports the New York Times. Before censors shut down the comments section on a WeChat video of a military exercise, commenters accused Beijing of being “cowardly in foreign affairs,” and a few people said they wanted to quit the Communist Party out of shame.
Some may say that Pelosi, now 82, has entered her second childhood. If so, it’s a delinquent one. Certainly her political inhibitions have dissolved, allowing her natural inclination to foment trouble to run rampant. One looks in vain for a rational motivation behind her ad hoc trip to Taiwan, an act of belligerency that might have sparked a war with another nuclear power. But to what end? China is not going to relinquish its entirely legitimate claims to Taiwan. Far from a model democracy, Taiwan is a former gangster state, whose repressive government was shaped by Chiang Kai-Shek, who retreated there in 1949 with his battered gang of CIA-financed KMT thugs, where he promptly instituted a violent crackdown on leftists known as the White Terror, a vicious form of martial law that lasted for the next 45 years.
Sure Pelosi represents many rich Chinese exiles, who have made fortunes in San Francisco and now fantasize about sticking it to the CCP from the safety of their Nob Hill mansions. But Pelosi doesn’t need their money or support. She’s well beyond that now. (Though her husband Paul (net worth: $130 million) is surely watching with avaricious eyes the reaction of the markets to this junket of the damned.) Antagonizing China over Taiwan doesn’t solve any of the global crises (climate, North Korea, Ukraine, Covid) hurtling toward us on all fronts–not even the “problem” of Taiwan.
Why Pelosi picked China as her target du jour is no mystery. Like Biden (and Bernie Sanders, for that matter), Pelosi has always been a Cold Warrior. It’s the way she chooses to understand the world, even if it’s a world that no longer quite exists. The political economy Pelosi has done much to help engineer over the last 35 years needs perpetual enemies to justify the trillions sunk into the weapons-and-surveillance complex. And not ephemeral scrub units like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Big ones like Russia and China. But more sophisticated politicians, from Nixon to Obama, have understood that the trick is to keep the threat elevated without actually risking a war. Pelosi seems to have lost this inhibition, as well.
Thus the brazenness–one is tempted to say, desperation–of her Taiwan excursion is a pretty clear sign of imperial (as well as mental) slippage. Far from a show of strength, Pelosi’s antics in Taipei revealed the frailty of the US hegemon in the Pacific. Sure, China postured a bit in response with naval exercises encircling Taiwan, drawing out of climate talks and slapping sanctions on Pelosi. But Beijing, a much more reflective (if equally lethal) government than our own, must have viewed Pelosi’s frantic finger-wagging as little more than a parody of power, a shrill manifestation of America’s political decrepitude.
(Jeffery St. Clair)
(This will be interesting to see just how successful the propaganda machine has worked on the American people)
But back to the original question….One could say that China may not be bluffing…..
Across the Eurasian continent, China finds itself being provoked by the US’s oleaginous adherence to the One China policy to which it is a signatory. Beijing has in recent days warned of severe consequences to be borne by the US and separatists in Taiwan (there are vociferous protests in Taiwan against Pelosi’s visit) if US House speaker Nancy Pelosi were to land in Taiwan.
Nonetheless, Pelosi is now in Taiwan, saying her visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” Even NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman said that Pelosi was being “utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.”
What is the next move in this real game of “Risk” (registered trademark)
Could this situation escalate? Events are starting to spiral again….and that usually means that the US will be a war somewhere in the very near future.
This is your world now….the US ends one war and starts looking for another to replace the lost defense industry profits….none of this bodes well for the American people…..in 80 years nothing has changed….the US goes from one war to another…..a cycle that seems unbreakable.
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