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Pelosi trip reaffirms US ties with Taiwan to China’s dismay
Hey, everyone it’s still August Two, and I gotta talk about the elephant in the room. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House Democratic leadership, is probably going to be going to Taiwan very soon. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, that soon. So this is, this is super exciting. Whoa…The One China policy is something that the United States developed kind of unofficially back in the 1970s when we decided that it was really important for us to split the Chinese off from the Soviets. So Nixon went to visit Mao and they basically hashed out a deal where China would join the American-led globalized order and China would become a major industrial manufacturing power as a result. Have access to the American market, just like all the other allies did. Game changer, but that is not now. The Cold War ended in 1992 so the strategic rationale for this sort of partnership dissolved 30 years ago. And in the 30 years since, the Chinese and the Americans have found themselves on increasingly opposite sides of pretty much every question that matters. Whether it’s environmental or energy or manufacturing or trade or human rights, you can really pick your poison. Which means that over the last decade, interest in the United States in the One China policy has been waning dramatically. Under Trump, we almost got a presidential visit. He actually mooted the idea until he decided that he liked talking with Xi, but we did get all kinds of trade restrictions on Chinese exports that are still in place today under Biden. Under Biden, it started with a bunch of what seemed to be…slipups, with Biden saying things that immediately his staff had to walk back, but then he kept saying them and the walkbacks became a lot less…focused.
And we now have Biden on record saying that if the Chinese attack Taiwan, the United States is duty and treaty bound to defend it. It’s not treaty-bound to defend it, but that is now still state policy according to the president, who is the only one that matters on this. So will Pelosi go? That’s up to her. She doesn’t have to. Will the U.S. intervene if Pelosi’s vessel is shot down? Absolutely, but we probably wouldn’t do it in Taiwan, unless the Chinese decide to do more than just kill Pelosi, like actually launch an invasion, the likely American retaliation isn’t gonna be in the Taiwan Straits. It’s probably gonna be in the South China Sea, or even in the Indian Ocean. Because the United States has a long-reach Navy and the Chinese don’t. So it would be child’s play for the United States to basically cut the energy line. Now, me personally, I don’t think the Chinese are so stupid as to provoke that kind of fight, especially when they know they lack the military capacity to enforce their will on Taiwan anyway, even if the United States were not involved. Shooting down an American diplomatic mission would guarantee an American
involvement. That’s not something that Chinese… can afford or would do. They’re not dumb, but they are blind. Under Chairman Xi, we have seen a complete gutting of government decisionmaking. The evisceration of the ability of any bureaucrat or minister to take a stance on anything without clearing with Xi first, we have complete paralysis.
This isn’t Russia, where there’s still a half-dozen people who still have Putin’s ear. This is China, where Xi has literally executed the messenger so many times that he’s no longer getting accurate information. And where people are abiding by cult of personality economics and politics, and doing what they think their great leader wants. And if they think their great leader wants a war with Taiwan, a lot of triggers could be pulled, without actually being what Xi wants to happen. So if this were up to Xi, if he was micromanaging the situation, I really doubt we’d have a conflict, but that’s not necessarily where we are right now. The nationalism, the wolf warrior diplomacy, it has gotten away from Beijing and it’s taken on a life of its own. And that is where the risk is now. You get some ultra-nationalist Chinese whose control of a ship or a missile system or a plane, who decides to take the shot. And that would get ugly very quickly…for China. Okay. That’s it for me until next time.
Should we worry about Chinese land purchases in US?
Some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns about increasing ownership of American land by Chinese entities, often attributing it to the Chinese government’s attempt to control food supply and surveil U.S. infrastructure. China ranks 18th on the list of foreign landowners in the U.S., trailing Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, and the U.K. So how worried should…
Sweden finally within sight of joining NATO
Sweden has been trying to join NATO for almost two years now, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Turkey and Hungary had been stalling that process, preventing Sweden from joining the Western military alliance. But recent public signals of approval from both Turkey and Hungary suggest a positive shift, indicating that the…
Will Europe go nuclear if US quits NATO?
The NATO alliance secured almost a century of peace on the European continent, with the exception of smaller conflicts and minor wars, until Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022. This was one of the longest stretches of continuous peace in recorded European history. Yet American isolationist instincts are resurfacing, just as they did before World…
Nigeria in a post-American world
Nigeria has the largest population and the largest economy of any nation in Africa and is projected to become the fourth-largest country in the world by population before 2050. But Nigeria is also a country with plenty of troubles, from notorious political corruption to domestic terrorism and armed insurgency. Peering ahead into the post-American world,…
Don’t expect US tactical response to death of Putin critic Navalny
On Friday, Feb. 16, Russian prison authorities announced that Aleksei A. Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in a remote Arctic prison. Navalny was imprisoned in January 2021 and serving a 19-year sentence. He was renowned as Putin’s most vocal domestic opponent, gaining prominence in 2011 when he declared the existence…
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