The Taiwan Visit Aftermath: Is China Thinking Invasion? The visit of the U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to the small island nation has angered Beijing, which has started an aggressive series of wargames and military exercises in the seas and skies that surround Taiwan.
In the background of the truculent Chinese behavior seems to be a desire to force the reunification with Taiwan sooner than later.
The Chinese military is conducting wargames and military drills around Taiwan from August 4 to 7, with some of the military drills taking place right on the Taiwanese territorial waters and skies.
While it is no secret that Beijing’s main foreign policy priority is to reunify with Taiwan, whether through peaceful negotiations or force, the issue has been stagnant for decades.
The U.S. has agreed to the “One China Policy,” acknowledging that there is only one China, but has also supported Taiwanese freedom of action. For decades, Beijing was not strong enough militarily to force the issue. But a vast modernization effort of the Chinese armed forces in the last years has strengthened the Chinese military and has given Chinese leaders more options.
Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has indicated that he wants to bring Taiwan under the CCP fold sooner or later. His predecessors wanted the same, but they lacked the military capabilities to do so. But now, the Chinese military is a force to be reckoned with.
Indeed, U.S. defense officials have indicated that the Chinese military could achieve regional superiority in the Indo-Pacific as soon as 2025. And recent reports indicate that Xi Jinping might decide to invade before the 2024 U.S. presidential elections and catch the U.S. by surprise while it’s preoccupied with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. Response
The U.S. has tried to keep the tensions down, repeatedly stating that Pelosi’s trip wasn’t intended to anger Beijing. To be sure, there seems to be some conflict of opinions within the administration on whether Pelosi should have taken the trip now. But, as it should in national security and foreign policy issues, the White House is keeping a unified front.
“You have heard us say this before. The Speaker had every right to go to Taiwan. Members of Congress [and the] Congress make those decisions. We do not tell them what they can and cannot do, where they can travel. We have said this many times before, we provide a full thorough briefing when they do travel,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing on Friday.
U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific area of operations remain on high alert following the Chinese military drills.
“And, so, again, there was no reason to have this escalation we’re seeing from China. It is fundamentally irresponsible what they are doing, and we will continue our efforts to keep open the lines of communication with Beijing while defending our interests and values in the region. This is what the world expects [from] the United States and China, and we encourage Beijing to keep this commitment as well when it comes to the climate dialogue—to the military and climate dialogue that was cancelled,” Jean-Pierre added.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.