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China Vows More Drills, but Taiwan Is Undeterred

If China’s use of force against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit was intended as a deterrent, it did not have the intended effect in Taiwan.

Surrounding an autonomous island and simulating a blockade, the exercise instead emphasizes the value of the island’s diplomatic, economic and military operations to cement a compromise in the great power confrontation between China and China. appears to have cemented Taiwan’s belief in the United States.

Under President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwanese officials are quietly courting Washington, profiting from arms sales and pledges of support for democracy. They also refrain from flaunting their successes to avoid an explosion from China claiming the island as their own.

As Beijing vows to normalize military exercises approaching Taiwan, that approach is likely to lead to a continued response on the island, putting another round on the brink of one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints. Set.

When Beijing recently sent dozens of fighters across the median line that separates the waters between China and Taiwan, it responded with relatively mild countermeasures, saying Taiwan’s military would not escalate. In contrast to ludicrous and violent warnings by officials and state media, Taiwan issued a sober statement and welcomed letters from G7 leaders condemning the drills.

Fan Shih-ping, a professor of political science at the National Taiwan Normal University, said in some respects China’s military spectacle is self-defeating.

“This time the world saw through China’s actions,” he said. “Taiwan has become the new focal point of the world.”

Despite their shock and awe, the exercises undermined some of China’s national interests.

In Taiwan, they are fueling opposition to China and increasing urgency around the need to defend the island and diversify away from economic dependence on China. has sparked internal disagreements over how to maintain ties with China as public opinion in Taiwan sours prospects. Abroad, they have raised awareness of Taiwan’s often overlooked and poorly understood plight, prompting condemnation of China’s actions.

“China’s exercises have already drawn great criticism from the international community. For Taiwan, this would make it impossible to reduce future foreign involvement. We just want to be,” said Huang.

Even the high degree of political theater of Mr. Pelosi’s visit itself may serve as a model for the future.

This strategy has allowed Taiwan to step up international exchanges without sparking the specter of full diplomatic recognition or the Chinese ire that can accompany a presidential or prime minister’s visit. In July, Nicola Bia, Vice-President of the European Parliament, visited the island. This, like Pelosi’s most recent trip, was less controversial.

“After the election, the new speaker of the U.S. Congress may also visit Taiwan, and this will become routine,” Fan said, adding that Pelosi could invite Tsai to speak in front of her. He added that he believes there is potential for of the US Congress.

That attention could also make U.S. arms sales to Taiwan even more urgent. , convinced that a smaller army could defeat a larger one if armed with the right weapons.

Nevertheless, Taiwanese officials have complained about delays and backlogged orders, citing in part production constraints. The system was deemed unnecessary by U.S. officials to combat China with an asymmetric strategy focused on maneuver and precision strikes.

Delays and strategic disagreements could have put Taiwan in a difficult position, and could erupt into conflict. U.S. officials are considering stockpiling weapons on Taiwan out of concern that supplies to the island could become difficult in the event of a Chinese military blockade.

Kitchu Liao, military and cyber affairs consultant at Taiwanese research group DoubleThink Labs, said, “The arms sales process is a way for Taiwan to explain to Americans why we need those weapons. It’s a process that must be done,” he said. “And since nothing is more powerful than empirical evidence of what is happening in the field, training will provide solid evidence to support future demands.”

The drills may also have helped improve coordination between the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries. A valuable experience to share.

Su Tzu-Yun, a security analyst at the National Policy Foundation in Taipei, said the exercises provided a rare opportunity to assess China’s military capabilities and weren’t developed enough to “attack Taiwan all-out.” He said he judged that

China’s actions, which acted as a sort of wake-up call, bolstered support for the military inside Taiwan, which has suffered accidents and morale in the face of a potential enemy like China. , Taiwan’s armed forces are poorly equipped and understaffed.

Tsai’s government has debated extending her military service, but she has struggled to impose a new strategic vision on the military’s leadership. According to Su, the exercise has added urgency, leading to new demands for an increase in the island’s defense budget.

“It’s not just the responsibility of soldiers in uniform, it’s the responsibility of civil servants in suits,” he said of the need to strengthen the military.

The training could also pave the way for better relations with Taiwan’s neighbors. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the drills after five Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. This presents a potential opportunity for Taiwanese officials who have sought dialogue on security with Japan.

“What is needed is not just bilateral talks between Taiwan and Japan, or Taiwan and the United States, but establishing dialogue, communication and contact between Taiwan and the Japan-U.S. Agreement as soon as possible,” Lai Yi-chung said. Stated. A member of the research group Taiwan Think Tank and a former official of the island’s Democratic Progressive Party.

Taiwan should learn from Ukraine and not allow China to dictate a new status quo that undermines Taiwan’s territorial and autonomy, he said. He called Ms Tsai’s approach “wise” and said some Taiwanese were desperate for stronger action, suggesting that Ms Tsai’s approach poses potential political risks. rice field.

“She is so cautious that some Taiwanese youth who have a strong Taiwanese identity are not happy with her,” he said.

Perhaps the key for Ms. Tsai is to limit the economic impact of China’s new ban on Taiwanese agricultural products. Despite its belligerent nature, China remains Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and it further weaponized its position by banning additional Taiwanese foods around the time of Mr. Pelosi’s visit.

These efforts may facilitate ongoing diversification. Taiwanese companies are already reassessing China’s economy, which has been sluggish due to a tough coronavirus fight, sparking repeated lockdowns across the country.

Chinese companies rely on Taiwanese electronics makers, so the Chinese government’s moves have largely sidestepped them. Still, many manufacturers with factories in China have also considered moving production elsewhere in recent years.

This sentiment is also reflected in Europe and America, which have worked to increase domestic production of key technology products such as semiconductors.

A multi-billion dollar U.S. law to support the semiconductor industry has allowed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, one of the world’s most important chip makers, to expand production in the U.S. More realistic. Other manufacturers have moved some factories closer to their customers in places like Southeast Asia, India and Eastern Europe.

“There is a new sense brought by the United States and Europe, which means that we should not rely solely on China, but should supply and procure goods locally,” said Liu Mengchun, director of the China Economic Research Institute. research.

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