Nancy Pelosi Just Handed China a Loaded Gun
Now watch how they light up the sky
Nancy Pelosi may have wanted to go out in style. What better way for her than to visit a renegade republic whose cries for democracy have earned them the ire of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Now she has clearly left her mark on the political calculus between the 2 largest economies whether she likes it or not. It remains to be seen in the days ahead, what dogs of war will be unleashed by the Middle Kingdom.
For decades, American politicians, even the hawkish Trump administration, stayed clear off Taiwan in view of a possible unpredictable backlash. Now that the die has been cast, for the moment at least, America is clearly on the back foot.
To start with, China has halted cooperation with the U.S. on a range of issues, starting with climate change, then the repatriation of illegal immigrants, and collaboration on drug operations. Halting bilateral talks on climate change was a clear jab at the Biden administration since the previous Republican administration were climate deniers. It was probably another way of admonishing the Biden administration for not reining their speaker in.
However, the language used by the PRC prior to Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was incendiary, to say the least. It warned (in not so many words) that any visit to the renegade province would be considered an act of war — and China intends to wholeheartedly convey this to the global community.
The ongoing air-strike drills around the Taiwan Strait that it openly calls invasion simulation could be just blowing hot and cold, brandishing swords without actually riding out to battle. The cost of war will be too great for China, which, just like the U.S. would also have much to lose.
The ongoing Ukraine imbroglio provides China with a ringside view of how its techno-imperial dreams for this century could be shattered if it falls prey to needless territorial conquests. Attacking a country that houses the finest fabrication units in the world would hardly garner it any friends and would likely further upend the already strained global supply chain networks.
Just like Russia, China also harbors visions of grandeur on a planetary scale, but it has, until now, shown (even under Xi Jinping) tremendous restraint even in the most trying situations. China after all has an economy that is more robust than Russia along with a growing private sector and is more likely to use its financial muscle to arm-twist nation states to do its bidding.
It has been pretty successful at doing this too: accumulating nation states as debtors across the developing world while picking up silent allies in the bargain. The Belt and Road Project (Jinping’s legacy) is their pathway to conquering the century. Military force, albeit, is the last item in their playbook, and though they have barrels of it — China exercises restraint as much as it can.
China now has a loaded gun. Nancy Pelosi just handed them a fresh cartridge. Their war games have just started. The ink is still wet on their response. They’re more likely to lock and load and march ferociously around the straits, lighting up the skies with rockets and firepower, veering towards the edge of war without actually starting one.
This century could be theirs, however — they want a peaceful rise.