After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China took several aggressive actions this weekend, including launching ballistic missiles near Taiwan and sanctioning Pelosi. While the incident may not lead to an all-out war, it is another step in the disintegration of U.S.-China relations — and provides the Chinese military with the training it needs to conduct future attacks.
Pelosi is Top U.S. official to visit Taiwan Since 1997, when former Speaker Newt Gingrich took office. In the 25 years since, China’s economy and military have grown exponentially. With that comes an increase in the country’s desire and ability to claim sovereignty over Taiwan. Taiwan, independent from Beijing Under current President Tsai Ing-wen, he has grown increasingly annoyed at Beijing’s strategy to “unify” Taiwan with mainland China.
Now, the United States wants to avoid a diplomatic and possible military crisis with China. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated rapidly in recent years due to the mistreatment of Uighurs in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the suppression of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, and the Trump administration’s strengthening of U.S.-Taiwan cooperation. , and Chinese government allegedly engaged in espionage and hacking.
“There’s a lot to object to in China’s behavior, but having said that, there’s a lot of behavior that the Chinese oppose, and the various U.S. stakeholders just ignore it and blow it off, and doing so could be dangerous,” Daniel Lara said. Daniel Russel, vice president of international security and diplomacy at the Asia Institute, told Vox.
Previous administrations practiced “strategic ambiguity” – seeking to appease Taiwan without angering China. in May, Biden promises If China invades Taiwan, the U.S. will go beyond the support it has already provided for Ukraine, although members of the administration, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, insist that Biden’s statement is in line with the one-China policy — the official recognition that the mainland is China and Beijing is seat of power.
Now, China is Large-scale military exercises in the Taiwan Strait— Eleven ballistic missiles were reportedly fired near the island, Reuters reported on Thursday. It was the first such move by China since 1996 — showing how much has changed since the last time the US and China faced off over Taiwan.
20 PLA aircraft (SU-30*10, J-16*4, J-11*4, Y-8 ASW and Y-20 aerial refueling) and 14 ships carried out sea-air linkages in the surrounding areas of the Republic of China in August June 6, 2022. For more information, please check our official website: https://t.co/Tj6C1y0WHR pic.twitter.com/apjMe6IYMn
—ef (MoD, ROC@MoNDense) August 6, 2022
“[The Chinese military is] Daniel Russel, vice president of international security and diplomacy at the Asia Institute, told Vox that they may not even have done the various things they had in mind. “I think it’s clear that the Chinese are in the action phase, the retaliation phase, and as they describe it, they have no interest in calming down until this round of punitive measures is done.”
Russell said the ultimate goal, at least when it comes to Taiwan, is not necessarily a military takeover — something China doesn’t yet have the capacity to do. Instead, each crisis has been calibrated to “force Taiwan, essentially, to its knees, forcing Taiwan’s leaders to submit to the conditions of political negotiation on the mainland”.
China’s military power has grown significantly over the past three years
China has become more aggressive in defending its interests in a number of areas, including its military in the South China Sea and its hostile crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong — both of which pose a threat to Taiwan’s democratic institutions.
China claims sovereignty over the South China Sea and several nearby islands including Taiwan Territorial Seas Act 1992. The document also outlines the conditions under which warships and aircraft may enter Chinese territory.Now, 30 years later, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has the means to enforce sovereignty, and has been doing so through increasingly provocative maritime operations Including militarized islands in the South China Sea
The United States maintains that it has important economic and security interests in the region and conducts regular freedom of navigation and other exercises there, Utilize military naval and air power to maintain freedom of the seas. The U.S. also sells weapons systems to Taiwan for defense purposes According to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, but these capabilities are disproportionate to the production capacity of the Chinese military over the past 25 years. Moreover, as recently as last year, both U.S. and Taiwanese stakeholders expressed concerns about low morale in Taiwan’s military and the lack of preparation of reservists and conscripts. This is reportedly due in part to a lack of funding and a disorganized backup system, as well as the belief among many Taiwanese that the United States will support their military in the event of any major attack. Wall Street Journal investigation since last October.
China’s military development is currently based on Civil-Military Integrationincluding major investments technology Research and development and dual-use technologies aimed at strengthening the military and the economy.This has led to significant weapon system developments, including The so-called “carrier killer” missile It can reportedly attack ships As big as a contemporary US aircraft carrierso it is possible Stop US warships from fighting in what China considers its own territory.
This situation is a far cry from the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis. Lee Teng Hoi, who became Taiwan’s first democratically elected president in 1996, and his alma mater, Cornell University, sparked tensions between China and the United States.China subsequently deployed missiles and conducted military exercises near Taiwan, but the United States was able to fend off these provocations by Two aircraft carrier formations are dispatched to transit the Taiwan Strait.
Since suffering this humiliation, the Chinese government has been pushing to build an army that can face and defeat the United States in confrontation. What the PLA lacks, Russell told Vox, is experience in a war zone. “They’re practicing and that’s not a good thing for us,” he said. “And that kind of stuff directly makes up for the PLA’s biggest shortcoming — which is that unlike the U.S. military, they haven’t been at war in the past 50 years.” Pelosi’s visit, therefore, is to gain battlefield experience in an ideal context Perfect excuse.
“The Chinese are using what they call provocation,” Russell said. “They’re using that to practice things that would normally be so provocative that they wouldn’t dare to rehearse. So these joint exercises are really a rehearsal for military action against Taiwan — whether it’s a blockade or some other form of attack. ”
Is there a diplomatic solution to the crisis?
There is no reason to believe that China will launch a full-scale amphibious attack on Taiwan at this time, but that does not mean that there is no serious risk at this time.
“As far as lowering tensions, rule number one: don’t do anything to make things worse,” Russell said. But that’s easier said than done when the diplomatic relations that usually help ease such tensions are as frayed as they are now.White House summons Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang Rebuked him on Friday for conducting military exercises; now China calls for discussions with its military officials on other key topics did not respond to the Pentagon proposal — Increases the likelihood of accidents and misunderstandings getting out of control.
“You have a lot of U.S., Chinese and Taiwanese assets moving in a relatively tight space. There have been incidents in the past where Chinese pilots who may have been overzealous or inexperienced have collided with U.S. aircraft — and even more recently in China An example of a very dangerous maneuver between a pilot and a Chinese captain,” Russell said. “So the danger is real, the danger is not that the U.S. planes have an accident with a Chinese plane, but that the U.S. and China don’t have the proper mechanisms — relationships, dialogue, whatever — that helps prevent escalation and prevent events from turning into crises, and crises that lead to conflict.”
A complicating factor appears to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s need to flex his muscles to consolidate his power ahead of the 20th Communist Party Congress later this year, when major leadership changes are to be announced. Michael LaskarAn assistant professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University told Bloomberg that China’s drills in the Taiwan Strait were “a show of force to consolidate Xi Jinping’s political power at home and pave the way for his third term. Election.”
It’s also a distraction from the fact that “things are going to hell in the hand basket of Xi Jinping’s China,” Russell said. Between technical usage limitations, Overbearing social control and major economic problems like a severe housing crisis, Chinese citizens are mocking Government policy social network microblogging —Gives Xi a good reason to step up pressure on Taiwan and the U.S., Russell said.
China also announced It won’t continue talks with U.S. officials on climate change, an area in which the United States and China have been willing to cooperate before Pelosi’s visit. “Every time an event occurs that raises tensions between Washington and Beijing, as Nancy Pelosi’s visit did, [it] Calm down the relationship and it will be worse,” Russell said, noting that Taiwan is not the only issue that the U.S. and China must negotiate.
“This makes the prospect of any real progress — not negotiating the fate of Taiwan, but the planet’s two major powers learning how to share the planet without destroying it — making the task more difficult.”