After Pelosi’s visit, Taiwan is preparing for war, and China is preparing for an economic and military blockade of the island
A photo: REUTERS
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
After the speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (the third person in the American state hierarchy) flew safely to Taiwan, the world is wondering what the “serious Chinese warnings” made by Beijing on the eve of this visit will result in. The PRC promised that they would not allow Washington’s provocative undertaking – Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan – to the point of declaring a no-fly zone around the island, which would become an insurmountable obstacle for Pelosi’s Boeing. But the trip took place, and what did China do? Now the offensive nickname “paper tiger”, once coined by the Chinese for the United States, began to hang on themselves. However, it seems that Beijing has not yet said its last word.
Today, parts of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) began large-scale military exercises with live rocket firing in the waters surrounding Taiwan. They will last until the seventh of August. On the island, this has already been equated with a blockade, since the PRC has closed vast areas of sea and air space, declaring them dangerous for air flights and the passage of ships.
Some experts do not rule out that the outcome of the exercises may be the seizure by the PLA of small islands belonging to Taiwan, and Taipei will most likely have to come to terms with this.
What did China do
However, a fierce war has already unfolded in cyberspace. The websites of the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President were subjected to powerful cyber attacks, forcing them to “lay down” for several hours. TVs at several chain stores on the island suddenly started showing a text message accusing Pelosi of warmongering. it is also believed that this was the result of the work of hackers from mainland China.
Meanwhile, Beijing launched a coordinated attack on the diplomatic front as well. Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye said in an interview on French TV today that “10 to 20 years ago, the majority of people in Taiwan were in favor of unification with China, but this mood has changed due to the ruling party’s extremist propaganda.” The ambassador believes that reunification is inevitable, but “after that, it will be necessary to re-educate and re-educate the inhabitants of the island, and then the Taiwanese will again become patriots of China.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying lashed out at G-7 members who accused China of “increasing tension and destabilizing the region” because of Pelosi’s visit. “If they (representatives of the G7 group – Ed.) do not correct their erroneous position on Taiwan, we will be forced to reconsider the meaning of the dialogue,” Hua Chunying stressed. She also said that the planned talks between the leaders of the Chinese and Japanese foreign ministries were canceled due to “unacceptable” statements by the leaders of the G7.
At an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting now in Cambodia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, referring to the Pelosi incident, that Beijing has made “the greatest diplomatic efforts” but “will never allow his main interests were affected.”
Along the way, China began to impose direct economic sanctions against Taiwan, in particular, stopped supplying sand to the island, which is necessary for construction work. Taiwan does not have it, so previously it was necessary to import more than 5 million tons of this material annually – mainly from mainland China. Now the stoppage of supplies can freeze many construction sites on the island. An embargo has been imposed on imports from Taiwan of a number of sweets and spices and, most painfully, fish and seafood. This can lead to the ruin of thousands of owners of small fishing vessels.
The reaction of the world
How do Taipei and its Western allies react to these actions of the PRC? The Taiwanese administration has said it will continue to prepare for war “although it doesn’t want it” and will soon hold its own military exercises. The United States also announced military exercises. Moreover, the Americans decided to demonstrate their strength to Beijing from an unexpected direction. In October, the United States, together with India, are going to conduct two-week maneuvers in the Indian Himalayas, less than 100 km from the boundary line with China. Connecting India, China’s longtime rival in South Asia, to military preparations is one of Washington’s trump cards in the big game for Taiwan.
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