Will China Continue Losing Face?
Score one for Nancy Pelosi. Despite China’s bellicose warnings of dire consequences in the past few days if she landed in Taipei. She did and China backed down as Crazy Nancy doddered off the plane. Why China would undermine its credibility with seemingly hollow threats is a lingering question.
The Chinese tough talk continues. Beijing’s US Ambassador updated his version of the primal scream:
The Chinese Ambassador to the United States said that China will give a powerful and strong response to the provocation with Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan.
What? No more fortune cookies with each entree? That will shake up the United States. Maybe China will cut back on the monthly allowance paid to Hunter and Joe Biden. That is a borderline human rights violation isn’t it? Perhaps China is going to slow the production of Elon Musk’s Teslas or Lebron James’ Nikes. Nothing like a little economic warfare to let those damn Americans know that you are serious. No ticket, no laundry.
The mainland Chinese did send some of their fighter jets into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) (Note–An Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is an area of airspace beyond a country’s sovereign territory within which the country requires the identification, location, and air traffic control of aircraft in the interest of its national security.)
21 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan air defense identification zone, says Taiwanese ministry of national defense.
Despite this belligerent posturing, China so far has balked at imposing a “no fly” zone over Taiwan.
So where do we stand?
The One China Policy remains intact–i.e., the People’s Republic of China is “the sole legal Government of China.” Sole, meaning the PRC was and is the only China, with no consideration of Taiwan aka the Republic of China as a separate sovereign entity.
Biden DOD spokesman John Kirby reiterated on 1 August that the United States’ “does not support Taiwan’s independence.” In other words, the United States has not changed its policy towards Taiwan–at least not yet.
China continues to shadow box and threaten Taiwan. China’s People’s Liberation Army announced it would conduct live-fire exercises in 6 regions surrounding Taiwan in response to Pelosi’s visit. But running exercises, even live fire, on mainland China is a far cry from landing troops on Taiwan. It does not alter the status quo.
China is still plagued with domestic economic problems that are sparking unrest among the people. While China is still considered a communist, authoritarian state, it is still susceptible to pressure from unhappy party members and a large group of civilians.
China no longer harbors any illusions about the reliability of the United States as an economic or political partner in the aftermath of the west’s attempt to destroy Russia over Ukraine. Message received.
Pelosi’s safe arrival in Taipei is still a black eye for mainland China. A humiliation in fact. Remains to be seen what China will do, if anything, to recover face.
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Author: Larry Johnson