China: ‘Another audience watching’ drills says expert
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The US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan against the advice of China who warned there would be repercussions for the visit. China launched military exercises in the region for almost a week which it concluded on Wednesday saying that the Sea and Air exercises were successful though it would continue patrolling the area.
The self-governing island which denounced China’s claims of sovereignty over the island and accused China of practising a military operation for a future invasion.
However, George Magnus, an economist and author wrote an article for Unherd outlining that China’s economic state is not strong enough to fund a war and added that Ms Pelosi’s visit did not escalate the situation.
Mr Magnus wrote: “Her visit did nothing to alter China’s stance towards Taiwan.
“The Speaker of the House was merely playing a walk-on part in an unfolding geopolitical drama. Another event would have triggered Beijing’s hostile reaction.
“The pressing question is not about Pelosi – but about what China will – and can – do next.”
He added: “For the moment we can be sure of only two things.
“First, China is bound to take further opportunities to put pressure on Taiwan using both commercial sanctions and military or diplomatic tactics.
“Second, for the time being, China is likely to avoid anything that might push its own faltering economy into a tailspin.”
China’s Taiwan Affairs office warned: “We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines.”
However, Mr Magnus outlined the economic reasons which are likely to prevent China from being able to go to war to claim back Taiwan.
He said: “Any serious escalation of the tension could have grave implications for Beijing. Not only would it limit or cut off China’s access to semiconductors and Western technology, but it could see Chinese firms subject to further sanctions.
“It could also compromise trade with China’s biggest markets, namely the United States, the EU and developed Asia.”
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The Chinese economy is also already struggling with the targets for economic growth not being met this year and the property market is in a tailspin.
Alongside this, unemployment has risen by 20 percent and the policies implemented to handle the Coronavirus pandemic have meant that the demand for investment by foreign firms has also plummeted.
There are some officials in China who continue to hope that Taiwan will return to the mainland without a war but Taiwanese polls show that only 2 percent of Taiwanese identify wholly as Chinese, a figure that has fallen from 25 percent 10 years ago.
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