Decoding China’s brazen aggression on Taiwan

Though it may merely be a symbolic display of muscle-flexing, the rapid escalation of Chinese military activity around Taiwan over the last few months has raised concern around the world.

That tensions were heightened when a total of 149 Chinese aircraft invaded Taiwan's air space all through last week. Experts suggest the purpose of the exercise is merely to cause a disturbance prior to Taiwan’s national day that on the 10th of October.

YouTube screengrab (cropped)

The US State Department said it was deeply concerned and accused China of carrying out "provocative military activities" that "undermines regional peace and stability", adding its commitment to Taiwan was "rock solid."

Chinese state-run paper The Global Times responded with the following

"The strategic collusion between the US and Japan and the DPP authorities is becoming more audacious, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has almost lost any room for manoeuvre teetering on the edge of a face-off, creating a sense of urgency that the war may be triggered at any time,"

President Tsai Ing-Wen of Taiwan penned an article for Foreign Affairs asserting reiterating Taiwan’s staunch commitment to democratic values and vowing not to bow before Chinese pressure. The Defence Minister of Taiwan said that this was the worst situation in 40 years.

Earlier last week, Joe Biden said that he had spoken to President Xi Jinping and they had agreed to abide by the "Taiwan agreement” (an unspecified, somewhat mysterious reference).

However, a few days later, China's President Xi Jinping said, "reunification" with Taiwan "must be fulfilled peacefully", however, he also warned that the Chinese people had a "glorious tradition" of opposing separatism.

The core of the problem is that the Chinese continue to view Taiwan as its province. While Taiwan sees itself as a democratic sovereign nation.

The Chinese are also aware that their actions can easily lead to a full-on military conflict but they don’t seem to be too concerned at this juncture.  However, this isn’t the only act of military aggression that the Chinese are involved in.

A few days back, Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an armed confrontation in the Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh, along the International Border, i.e. the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Sources have said the Indian troops intercepted around 200 Chinese soldiers.

India and China have had a history of military standoffs since they entered into a full-scale war in 1962Since last year, Chinese aggression has escalated as the Chinese army repeatedly attempts to trespass India’s borders and even build infrastructure in India.

China has also continued its military build-up in Tibet. There are reports of the Chinese Air Force building an airfield in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. This airfield is located just north of the Lipulekh pass which is around 20 km from the LAC.

China has developed a significant outreach on the economic front.

Over the past decade, China has invested or committed more than $150 billion in the economies of India’s neighbors Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

China has become a key political and economic power in the African continent within just a few decades by a series of shrewd investments and financial aid. Experts have called this the most important development in Africa since the end of the Cold War. 

China has invested in Europe in both the public and private sectors in countries such as the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Analysis by Bloomberg last year showed that China currently owns or has a stake in, four airports, six maritime ports, and 13 professional soccer teams in Europe.

China had already overtaken the U.S. as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year.

The Chinese have a common strategy to gain both political and economic advantage. They provide financial aid for impoverished countries.  They provide a modern infrastructure with deferred payments. They invest heavily in both the public and private sectors. They also cultivate assets among local elites within a country. Soon the country and key individuals are compromised and burdened with debt and eventually become totally subservient.

Back in December 2018, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was detained by Canadian Authorities based on a US warrant that accused Meng and Huawei of violating US sanctions by misleading the HSBC Bank about the extent of Huawei’s ties with  Iran, which is on a US sanctions list.

In retaliation for this, China arrested two Canadian nationals and sentenced them to 11 years of imprisonment on espionage charges. This was clearly an act of ‘hostage diplomacy’.  

However, it was a blatant act of capitulation by the Biden administration, when Meng was released from detention after Biden’s Department of Justice and Meng’s legal team agreed upon a deferred prosecution. Following the release of Meng, China liberated the imprisoned Canadian nationals.

China also continues to obfuscate and prevent any transparent investigation of the link between the Covid19 virus and laboratories in Wuhan. Covid19 has wreaked global havoc influencing behavior, economic growth, and government control over people. Despite this, there has been very little pressure applied on China by global powers, perhaps because the elites within various countries stand to gain by remaining tight-lipped on China.

China seems to have become the colonial power that the British once were. The quote “The Empire on which the sun never sets” emanated from the fact that British-occupied territory was so extensive that at any one time there was daylight in one of the territories, currently applies to China.

China may not have physically occupied most of these countries, but their financial influence had burdened various countries, causing them to behave like their minions who are perennially in debt.

China’s display of military force can be seen as an open challenge to the US and its allies

China clearly knows, both via news media footage and through their secret channels, that Joe Biden is a diminished man whose mental faculties are rapidly declining. They also know that he is probably compromised because of  Hunter Biden’s shady dealings.

There were ill-tempered talks between US and Chinese officials during a meeting in Alaska.  A Chinese official told US officials that the US is not qualified to "speak from a position of strength" when criticizing China on human rights since Blacks are "slaughtered" in the US.  Clearly, China has no regard or respect had for the Biden administration and has no problem making a demonstration of it.

The US has vowed to protect the sovereignty of Taiwan. However, the US had also pledged to protect Afghanistan. Following Biden’s chaotic and ill-planned withdrawal, Afghanistan is more volatile than an overturned beehive.

In addition to appearing weak, the US is seen as one that does not honor its promises.

The Chinese see this as their opportunity not only to recapture Taiwan but also to dominate the entire region.

To confront China, the US will have to develop a comprehensive economic and defense strategy and build a global coalition among allies.

This will require the leadership in Washington to be fearless, focused, uncompromised, shrewd, astute, patient, honest, and united.

Is there anybody in the Biden administration that even remotely qualifies for any of above mentioned human characteristics?  

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