June 18, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Taiwan, the fuse that will bring China and the US to the brink | Geopolitics is tense to the max

Taiwan, the fuse that will bring China and the US to the brink |  Geopolitics is tense to the max

As leaders of varying caliber smell yet more blood, the world is plunged into nuclear and conventional restructuring. Russia and China Approaching —Xi Jinping He spent three days in Moscow with Putin last month – united by mutual interest and fear of a common enemy advancing across distant continents. In Central Europe, the US and its allies are encircling Russia: Finland’s recent NATO entry has added 1,340 kilometers of border between the Western alliance and Russia, deepening Russia’s tenuous claim to its security.

Another area where the U.S. is slipping by bolstering military bases in Japan and the Philippines — here it goes from four to nine — is its challenging sphere of influence: It encircles China in Asia-Pacific waters. If Xi invades Taiwan, the meltdown will explode. Both parallel lines grow on the geopolitical world map and squeeze a planet where neither side is opposed to World War III.

The US has two sticking points: one is Ukraine, where the defeated power of the Cold War is implicitly fighting NATO. Another is the island of Taiwan, where the Chinese military last week showed force on land, air, sea and cyberspace, pretending to “create an oppressive situation surrounding the island in all four directions”: it mobilized the PHL’s launch systems. -191 missiles, 052-C fighter and J-10C fighters. In the coastal province of Fujian, it conducted live-fire water exercises and transferred to the aircraft carrier Shandong.

Centenarian Henry Kissinger suggested in his book China to avoid the “Thucydides trap” – which led Athens and Sparta to war over the rise of the first, challenging the hegemony of the other – which led to and emerged from the United Kingdom. Germany to the First World War. The two great powers of today –interdependent, for now– are far away War conflict, with Taiwan as their explosive fuse, even as relations strained. If China or the US were looking for a reason, this island would be perfect.

Borders of Ukraine and Taiwan

America. It is a power of economic decline that faces a Chinese resurgence, but in clear military expansion: On the Japanese island of Okinawa it is expanding its 32 bases near Taiwan. Its two enemies are China and RussiaThey have different personalities and interests. But high points Ukraine and Taiwan They are connected: The current war in Eastern Europe is a laboratory for the future of what happens if China invades Taiwan, whose armed forces are unfavorably asymmetric, something the United States did not do in Ukraine if it intervened militarily. Doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. It also prevented the outbreak of the Cold War. The question is: If Americans fear Russia’s nuclear arsenal, will they stop at Xi Jinping?

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A parallel logic would say yes. But US presidents have always said they are directly involved, while maintaining a policy of strategic ambiguity. The big question is how much is Taiwan worth to the US? Would a war with possible nuclear consequences justify their interests? China poses a challenge to the US economically and technologically – not to mention militarily – but it is not a major political threat.: Where Mao Exported Communism, Xi Xinping Lights Capitalist Lamps

There is competition between the two countries – low and free – but no irreconcilable conflict: China and the US need each other, even if they annoy each other. No one is sure how much the US will defend Taiwan. But his mere word of deterrence has already made an impression on the Chinese government, and if it invades, it cannot rule out a war that will be very harmful to its interests.

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and the Chinese president’s reaction to the Taiwan president’s visit last week nine months before Tsai Ing-wen America to meet Kevin McCarthy — Speaker of the House of Representatives— This is a simulation, a war game: nothing suggests a concrete intention to invade in the short or medium term. Upon taking office for a third term, Xi Jinping said, “We must resolve the situation in Taiwan… and make unwavering progress in reunifying the motherland.” Ending de facto autonomy on the island is a “personal legacy” for Xi, a way of “etching” his name in history, the economic and technological supremacy he crowned with the conquest of the Moon and Mars. The question is how.

Putin – a rational-thinking European leader – invaded because his core interests were threatened. But Xi — in the context of a Taoist worldview — is likely to act differently.

The art of war

The Chinese government is applying in Taiwan, almost as a manual, Sun Tzu’s classic, The Art of War. Sinologist François Julien studied the book and identified two concepts of performance: Greek and Chinese. For the Greeks, before battle, a plan was drawn toward the objective, defining the field of maneuver. A general was a good geometer, ensuring correct modeling with angles of attack and siege patterns.

Sun Tzu’s War sidesteps those questions: its axis is “situational possibility.” The strategist does not model: he studies the environment in progress. As with water, you need to find a gradient that makes it easier. The translations use the word “plan” for “ji”, but according to Julian, it is the European view: in Chinese it means “weighing” factors favorable to both sides: the quality and quantity of troops, their morale, the ability of commanders, the king’s relationship with his people. So they create a viable map without getting bogged down in a plan that expires in the heat of battle. In the same way that martial arts use the power of an opponent, Tao cites the metaphor of embracing water as it enters itself: they do not block it, they allow it to pass.

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For Clausewitz–a 19th-century military theorist–circumstance can divert the course of battle from plan: the soldier must conform without deviation, always taking the shortest path by force of will. Sun Tzu theorizes another logic: in war, victory does not “depart”, it is the result of the possibilities of the situation renewed during the process (a fixed objective is an obstacle). If the enemy is new, wear him down; If he eats, starve him; If it’s compact, shred it. Everything is gradual in the long road, except facing unfavorable situation. The best strategist identifies and identifies multiple factors and maximizes the beneficial ones to wear another until he loses his mold. It attacks him when he is defeated. Gather the fruit if it is ripe: “Victorious armies conquer before they engage in battle; The vanquished will seek victory during the war. Everything happens first in the weighing patient position.

An uncertain future

Is China Invading Taiwan Possible? Theoretically yes. But still Not likely in the short to medium term. Will Taiwan become part of China again? This is a possibility in the long run. China is not only military, it is drilling the ground on different sides: it is working on the general ability to change the advantage. Perhaps one day, he hopes, the situation in Taiwan becomes irreversible—they must ensure that the United States does not interfere—and the island’s government chooses to leave under special autonomy conditions, through a negotiated “return home.” The Hong Kong case had a prior agreement with the United Kingdom: “negotiations by force” without touching a hair.

Most Taiwanese reject such a deal. The party closest to negotiation is the Nationalist Kuomintang — led by General Chiang Kai-shek, who was defeated by Mao in the civil war — and today is the opposition. The party’s former president, Ma Ying-jeou, declared, “We know the need to maintain good relations with China.” He made a historic visit to China last month — the first by a former Taiwanese president — and said, “We are all Chinese.”

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China favors the development of markets, the axis of its position: war would be bad business. The CCP does not rush to avoid confrontation, but pierces the enemy in the Chinese way. Taiwan similarly defends itself and refrains from declaring its independence. This month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry took another vote at the UN, where the island is recognized as a state: Honduras switched sides and opened an embassy in Beijing (in response to China’s demand that it close it in Taipei).

Open story

Until 1971, Taiwan was China’s only member of the UN—it even sat on the Security Council—but Nixon made peace with Mao and the United States reestablished its “one China” policy with its capital in Beijing, severing its official ties with China. Taiwan lives under a diplomatic embargoRecognized by only 13 countries: it is not legal, it shares with Palestine and seems irrevocable.

Every ongoing historical process has an uncertain outcome. Within a culture that thinks of itself as a civilization beyond ideology, the now century-old CCP fertilizes the political field in Taiwan after 100 years, tilting the plane economically and politically until one day the trend changes. The Taiwanese outlook Most see it as beneficial to re-embrace their neighbor, whose mainland they have invested billions of dollars in: Taiwan’s Foxconn is the main manufacturer of iPhones for Apple in China. Or Taiwan can exercise its right to self-determination and they never reunify.

Mark Twain adapted a phrase from Marx when he said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” If so, the world will, in the long run, be headed for “Thucydides’ trap.” In the last 500 years there have been 16 bids for world supremacy and 12 have ended in war. However, what is often present in the case of the Taiwan fuse is the non-essentialist pragmatism of Chinese thought – similar to that on each side of the Taiwan Strait – of how to adapt to the situation, turn opposites into complements, and avoid executing death. trap atom. It is necessary: ​​a new “Great War” will be the last, which will cut the cycle of eternal income. No more irony or sadness. nobody is here.