The Taiwanese public, tired of decades of Beijing’s threat, seemed unperturbed, but some observers said military leaders may be worried.
Michael Chan, who managed the 1996 Taiwan missile crisis, told local media that the exercise could be a preview of a Chinese invasion scenario when he was executive director of Taiwan’s National Security Council. said.
Allies such as the United States and Japan condemned the exercise. They didn’t want to escalate the situation, so they didn’t intervene directly to stop the lockdown rehearsals.
A former Chinese defense official told Reuters their reaction would come as cold consolation to Taiwan’s politicians and military leaders.
“Seeing how the United States and its allies have responded to the drill, how much can Taiwan’s leaders trust that they will come to their aid if the People’s Liberation Army attacks?” he said. .
The exercise was scheduled to end on Sunday.
This episode comes at a delicate time for Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
Mao Zedong won the civil war in 1949, established the People’s Republic of China, and forced the nationalist Kuomintang government to retreat to Taiwan.
Pulling Taiwan into Beijing’s embrace is a key part of the unfinished business of cementing Xi’s position alongside Mao Zedong and justifying his 2018 move to abandon term limits.
Despite widespread dissatisfaction with the zero-COVID policy that pushed the country into its third year of self-isolation and hit the world’s second-largest economy, President Xi Jinping is leading for an unprecedented third five-year term. They are expected to secure their tenure at critical moments. Communist Party Congress this year.
Domestically, the Chinese government must balance the anger it has generated over Pelosi’s visit with its embarrassment at not stopping it, observers said.
State media heavily covered the exercise with videos and commentary praising China’s advanced military capabilities.
Bilahari Kaushikan, a former Singapore diplomat, said part of the hype was an effort to save face for Mr. Xi, who cannot afford to look weak before the party convention.
“The hard and indisputable fact is that despite all the commotion, China failed to stop Mr. Pelosi’s visit, so the CCP needs to show off its response,” he said. I was.
no failure allowed
China may be one step closer to using force against Taiwan, but most experts don’t think war is imminent.
“There is no certainty that any invasion within this decade will succeed. Failure will mean the end of Xi Jinping, his dreams and perhaps the Chinese Communist Party,” said former British diplomat Charles Parton. rice field.
Although he has not spoken publicly about Mr. Pelosi’s visit, Mr. Xi would be well aware of the risks of his actions because the chairman of the Central Military Commission is effectively the commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army. says the expert.
“China hopes these exercises can somehow thwart a disturbing trend in which the United States, Europe, and many other countries are becoming sympathetic to Taiwan,” said security analyst Li. I would have stayed,’ he said. “So far, we haven’t seen that effect yet.”
Xi seeks to save Pelosi crisis with new offensive military tactics
Source link Xi seeks to save Pelosi crisis with new offensive military tactics