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Who Won the Taiwan War Games?

Foreign Affairs

Nancy Pelosis visit to Asia only highlighted america relative weakness.


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on August 5, 2022(Richard A. Brooks/AFP via Getty Images)

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied White House signals that she not stay in Taiwan on her behalf valedictory tour of Asian capitals, she ignited the worst diplomatic U.S.-China row in decades.

And how did last week’s collision come out for america?

Writes the NY Times: Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan began with her “plane departing from Kuala Lumpur and heading southeast toward the Indonesian section of Borneo, then turning north to fly across the eastern section of the Philippines. A far more directand shorterroute could have gone to fly northeast in a primary route on the South China Sea to Taiwan.”

Pelosi’s avoidance of the South China Sea may have something regarding China’s claim to 90% of it and China’s control of islets for the reason that sea that Beijing has changed into air, missile and naval bases.

After 19 hours in Taiwan, the speaker flew to South Korea, where her reception was referred to as “cool.” President Yoon Suk Yeol, though in the home in Seoul when Pelosi arrived, didn’t talk with her, but rather held a 40-minute phone conversation.

South Korea, like its neighbors, is anxious never to offend China.

Think about this anomaly here:South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand all depend on america as their No. 1 ally in defending them against China, but all feature China as their No. 1 trading partner.

How did Beijing respond to Pelosi’s 19 hours in Taiwan?

With warplanes, warships and ballistic missiles, China conducted live-fire exercises from Thursday noon to Sunday noon, at six sites surrounding Taiwan. One Chinese missile flew over Taiwan. Five landed in the exclusive economic zone of Japan.

The result of the live firings at and around Taiwan was that of a naval quarantine or blockade. Ships and planes of other nations avoided air corridors and waters being targeted by Chinese forces.

China also announced diplomatic and economic sanctions contrary to the U.S. and Taiwan, canceling talks with Washington on climate change and military relations.

Pelosi’s stop by at Taiwan was the triggering event that ignited the Chinese war games against Taiwan. But these air, naval and missile exercises weren’t planned per day. They may actually have already been prepared as a dress rehearsal for how China intends to start bringing Taiwan home to the motherland, when President Xi Jinping decides it’s high time.

Pelosi spent the others of her trip insisting that her visit represented no change in U.S. policy on Taiwan.

Talking with reporters in Tokyo, Pelosi reiterated, “Our representation here’s not about changing the status quo,” adding that Beijing is “probably using our visit being an excuse.”

Because the live firing continued for 72 hours, the White House echoed Pelosi that the U.S. recognizes Beijing’s declare that Taiwan is really a “section of China” and will not contest that claim. Nor have we any intention of shifting U.S. policy on Taiwan since it has been pursued since Jimmy Carter broke U.S. diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979.

Where was the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, then on Asian assignment during all of this? Cruising in the Philippine Sea, not the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait or East China Sea, all claimed by Beijing.

That which was the message sent and the message received from the war games with which China taken care of immediately Pelosi’s stop by at Taiwan?

From Beijing, the message delivered to the U.S. was clear. China regards Taiwan as its detached province. It’ll confront any power, like the United States, that’s perceived to be challenging that political reality. It’ll react to any Taiwanese proceed to establish its independence of Beijing as a casus belli, a justification for war.

The White House didn’t move any planes, ships or missiles to counter the Chinese live-fire exercises and, indeed, reassured Beijing repeatedly that Pelosi’s visit didn’t represent any change in U.S. policy.

It really is hard to observe how Asia’s free and democratic nations and U.S. allies Japan, South Korea and Australia cannot took away the final outcome that bristling Chinese aggressiveness had just been met by American passivity. Hawkish members of the Senate like Lindsey Graham may actually think that.

Think about the path Beijing has lately pursued,

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It has attacked and captured border lands in the Himalayas from India, claimed virtually the complete South China Sea, fortified six isles for the reason that sea, claimed the Taiwan Strait as territorial waters, the transit which by U.S. and allied warships requires China’s permission, claimed Taiwan within China, and also the nearby Senkaku Islands held by Japan.

Now it has sent military aircraft and warships over the Taiwan Strait into and on the waters surrounding Taiwan and test-fired missiles and rockets to reenforce its claim to the island.

When 21st-century China stakes a claim to something in Asia, it backs up its claim with action. The trend is unmistakable and points to another confrontation over Taiwan.

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