US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan against the advice of China, which warned the visit would have repercussions. China has launched military drills in the region for nearly a week, which it concluded on Wednesday by saying the sea and air drills had been successful, but it would continue to patrol the region.
The self-governing island which denounced China’s claims of sovereignty over the island and accused China of practicing a military operation in preparation for a future invasion.
However, George Magnus, an economist and author, wrote an article for Unherd pointing out that China’s economic state is not strong enough to finance a war and added that Ms Pelosi’s visit had not made the situation worse. .
Mr. Magnus wrote: “His visit did not change China’s position towards Taiwan.
“The Speaker of the House was simply playing a sidekick in an ongoing geopolitical drama. Another event would have triggered the hostile reaction from Beijing.
“The pressing question is not about Pelosi – but about what China will – and can – do next. »
He added: “At the moment we can only be sure of two things.
“First, China is required to seize new opportunities to pressure Taiwan using both trade sanctions and military or diplomatic tactics.
“Second, for now, China is likely to avoid anything that could tip its own faltering economy.”
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China’s Taiwan Affairs Office warned: “We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to provocation by separatist elements or outside forces if they cross our red lines.”
However, Mr. Magnus mentioned the economic reasons likely to prevent China from being able to go to war to recover Taiwan.
He said: “Any serious escalation in tension could have serious implications for Beijing. Not only would this limit or cut off China’s access to semiconductors and Western technology, but it could see Chinese companies subject to further sanctions.
“It could also jeopardize trade with China’s biggest markets, namely the United States, the EU and developed Asia.”
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The Chinese economy is also already struggling with unmet economic growth targets this year and the real estate market is in free fall.
At the same time, unemployment has increased by 20% and the policies implemented to deal with the coronavirus pandemic have led to a drop in investment demand from foreign companies.
Some officials in China continue to hope that Taiwan will return to the mainland without war, but Taiwanese polls show that only 2% of Taiwanese fully identify as Chinese, a figure that fell from 25% 10 years ago.