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The military exercises of the China in Taiwan are the beginning of a new world crisis? How likely is the outbreak of a conflict between Beijing and Taipei? And what will the US do? The visit to Taiwan of the speaker of the room Use Nancy Pelosi is only the spark of a fire that has been burning for some time. The Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng He spoke of “serious provocation” as well as “violation of the One China principle”. The landing in Taiwan in fact, according to Pelosi herself, it was not part of a pleasant summer trip: it was a “demonstration of support for threatened democracies”, in the context of a struggle “against autocrats. But the one between Beijing and Taipei, in fact, is a conflict that plays a key role in the world chessboard. Here because.
The arm wrestling
China’s ambitions for Taiwan began in the 17th century, when the empire was able for the first time to annex the territory, previously ruled by the indigenous people. She was forced to cede the island to Tokyo 1895after the defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War, but nevertheless managed to regain possession of it at the end of the Second World War. Since 1945, Beijing has considered the island its national territory. To further entangle the skein, however, the bloody civil war that four years later saw the Communists of Mao Zedong conquer power in China by defeating the nationalists of the Kuomintang (KMT) of Chiang Kai-shek.
The latter decided to withdraw to Taiwan, allying themselves with the United States fighting China in Korea and hoping to one day take back the mainland. Beijing, on the other hand, has been trying to annex the territory since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Current President Xi Jinping has even set a date by which to do so: the 2049centenary of the birth of the Republic. The Taiwanesefor their part, They believe they have never been part of the modern Chinese stateformed for the first time after the revolution of 1911 – or the People’s Republic of China founded under Mao in 1949. However, at the moment only 13 countries (plus the The Vatican) recognize it as sovereign countryor.
Why is China so interested in the island?
China sees Taiwan as an appetizing target for various reasons, not just ideological ones. 23 million inhabitants, 36 thousand square kilometers and a GDP among the 20 highest on the planet (higher than that of nations such as Switzerland, Sweden and Saudi Arabia). In fact, Taiwan does not just hold the 92% of the production capacity of advanced semiconductorsnecessary among other things for the production of cars, smartphones and PCs. The small island also transits 40% of world trade, for a total annual value of almost 5.3 trillion dollars.. This is also due to its position, which is optimal from a strategic-military point. Conquering Taiwan would mean for China to increase its control over the Pacific Ocean. Unwelcome American guests, which since the Second World War have erected strategic and military outposts in Asia to keep them influence on the territory, they would thus be removed from its coasts.
The role of the United States
The USA has represented, in recent decades, the “third wheelBetween the otherwise dual relations of Taipei and Beijing. The island, in fact, is part of the list of friendly territories of Washington which are crucial to its foreign policy. The States however, they tried to hit not only the rim but also the barrel, recognizing the RPC as the only legitimate government of China. They also acknowledge Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China. but they never accepted the CCP’s claim of sovereignty on the island. The goal, CNN explains, is to preserve the status quo and avoid a war in Asia, and it has worked. At least so far.
How likely is a conflict to break out?
Despite the fact that from the 80s the climate seemed to have started to relax, Taipei and Beijing have never been happy neighbors. The tension rose noticeably after the 2016with the election of the independentist on the island Tsai Ing-wen. Under Xi Jinping, in parallel, China has become more authoritarian at home and more Assertive abroad, as the Violent repression of protests in Hong Kong. Currently, Taiwan’s defense minister said relations with China are the worst in the last 40 years. The The Wall Street Journal recalls how the massive air and naval exercises that the People’s Republic of China has begun in the Taiwan Strait, including the use of missiles that are expected to pass over Taipei, are aimed at “showing Beijing’s ability to isolate the island with its own forces armed , interrupting their trade ».
In a possibility Military confrontationthe enormous imbalance between the two sides would emerge, and the overwhelming superiority of the Chinese defense. Unless, once again, the United States intervenes: despite having long tried to stay in the gray space of astrategic ambiguityPresident Joe Biden said US forces are willing to militarily defend Taiwan in the event of an attack. Now, Nancy Pelosi’s visit ushers in a “new phase in China’s efforts to control the fate of Taiwan”. According to analysts, the message sent to Beijing is clear: the island issue “it is no longer a problem that can only be solved between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait“.
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What happens between China and Taiwan (and what the US has to do with it) – ilmhunt
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