This Tuesday’s visit (2) by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan has intensified tensions between the two largest economies in the world, a relationship that has already it was deteriorated by commercial issues, by China’s refusal to condemn Russia for the invasion of Ukraine and, of course, by the island’s own situation.
China had been carrying out several incursions into space aerial view of Taiwan, which it considers a rebel province to be reincorporated until 2049, the year in which it will be 100 years since the end of the civil war that ended with the victory of the communists and the withdrawal of the nationalists to the island. .
The United States does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent state (in fact, only 96 countries in the world do) and are adherents of the “one China” policy, but they support Taipei militarily and have criticized Beijing’s aggressive rhetoric against democratic local government.
In response to the visit of and Pelosi, which it called a “major political provocation”, China announced military maneuvers in five areas around Taiwan, which will involve live ammunition exercises and will include the closure of maritime and air space at those points.
Military analyst Paulo Filho pointed out, in an interview with Gazeta do Povo, that these measures are similar to those taken by Beijing between 1995 and
, in the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis.
“If that’s all it is, it won’t be much different from what happened back then. But China’s rhetoric today is more fierce, not least because it is a much more powerful country than it was in the 1990 decade”, highlighted Filho, who cited internal pressures suffered by dictator Xi Jinping.
“At the end of the year, the Communist Party convention will take place, in which he should get an unprecedented third term. But things are not as good for him as in previous years. The Covid-zero policy has harmed the economy, China is growing much less than expected and this policy has displeased the population”, highlighted the analyst.
“Everything he didn’t need was a crisis like this, even more so because he had spoken directly with the president Biden about the consequences for Taiwan, which could give the Chinese population an impression of weakness. So, maybe he wants to present the image of a strong leader and scale the tone a little,” added Filho.
Stephen Collinson, CNN analyst, pointed out in an article published on the CNN website. broadcaster that an escalation could occur as a result of the Chinese dictator’s need to demonstrate force.
“The assumption in Washington is that Xi has no more interest in a direct military confrontation than Biden. But he is stronger than previous Chinese leaders. And there is a strong nationalist bias within the Chinese military, along with a growing confidence in its ability,” Collinson pointed out.
“So making assumptions about how China would respond to the visit Pelosi based on Chinese behavior in previous crises could mean that the US will have an unpleasant surprise”, he warned.
Paulo Filho stated that he believes that China and the United States can resort to such as increased rhetoric, diplomatic measures (such as recalling the respective ambassadors to the country) and trade retaliation. But, at this point, an invasion of Taiwan (to which the US promised to respond promptly) is very unlikely, in the analyst’s view.
“A military operation to conquer Taiwan would be very complex , you can’t compare with the situation in Ukraine, which is Russia’s neighbor, has a land border. Taiwan is an island [o Estreito de Taiwan tem 180 km de largura média], China would need to carry out a very complicated landing operation, have a very strong naval power to carry out a naval blockade… to the United States”, he justified.