Tension in the Taiwan Strait is unlikely to escalate into a war: why Xi Jinping is not profitable
Why Xi Jinping does not benefit from a war with Taiwan/Channel 24 collage
Tension in the Taiwan Strait due to the alleged visit of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is unlikely to escalate into a military conflict. Beijing is looking to avoid any major upheaval in relations with the US.
The tension in the Taiwan Strait comes at a “very sensitive time for Beijing”
This is stated in the material of the Hong Kong edition of the South China Morning Post. It is reported that China's response to the Taiwan situation will be an indicator of China's confidence under Xi Jinping.
Observers write that tensions in the Taiwan Strait are coming at a “very sensitive time for Beijing” because Xi Jinping is going to become the leader of China for the third time.
According to the Chinese Constitution, since 1982, the term of office at the head of the PRC was limited to two terms. However, in 2018, changes were adopted allowing Xi Jinping to be re-elected for a third term in the fall of 2022. Therefore, the situation in China should be viewed through the prism of the elections.
In addition to the upcoming re-election of Xi Jinping, the Chinese economy has been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beijing is also deteriorating relations with the West amid tacit support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Analysts informed of the sentiment in Beijing told the South China Morning Post that China's priority is to avoid any major turmoil with the US ahead of the Communist Party convention in the fall.
Sino-American ties cannot further deteriorate. And that's the tone the party set in messages about Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan. Beijing is very concerned about the escalation of the situation, especially if there is a conflict over a mistake, an anonymous analyst told the publication.
Xi Jinping will want to give the impression that he is in control
George Magnus, an economist at Oxford University's China Center, said that for China, Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is “a thrown glove.” For the United States, he said, it is turning a politician's mere trip into a weapon.
“Both sides seem to feel an obligation to respond and resist accordingly,” said George Magnus, adding that Xi Jinping would want to produce the impression that he is “in control of the situation and firm in dealing with what he considers a provocation”.
The economist suggested that Xi Jinping's authority could be undermined if the PRC leader fails to speak out against the United States. This will affect the re-election of the Chinese leader for a third term.
Shi Yonghong, an expert on international relations at the Renmin University of China, is convinced that Beijing will not do anything that could escalate into a military conflict.
If Pelosi won't visit Taiwan, Beijing will claim victory
Former editor of the party newspaper Study Time, Dan Youwen, said the best scenario for Beijing would be to cancel Pelosi's visit. Then, as Youwen explained, Xi Jinping claimed a big victory. island,” Dan Youven said.
Alfred Wu, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said Pelosi's visit is likely to be unofficial. Beijing will also be able to declare this a victory.
He stressed that Xi Jinping can manipulate domestic propaganda and is able to spread statements that frighten the United States. Also, as Wu said, Xi Jinping, because of the elections, is trying to show the domestic public that he is strong, while condemning the United States.
University of Chicago political scientist Dali Yang said tensions between the US and China could benefit Xi Jinping. In particular, because an external challenge helps the party strengthen its army and emphasize party leadership.
At the same time, Gal Luft, director of the Washington-based Institute for Global Security Analysis, suggested that Beijing could launch missiles in the direction of Taiwan or send more more warships to its coast if Pelosi makes a visit. However, the expert sees no reason for China to overreact.
What is known about the tension in the Taiwan Strait
- Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi may visit Taiwan soon. Experts suggest that her visit will be unofficial and will be limited to staying at the airport. If Pelosi does come to Taiwan, it will be the first visit by a top-level US official in 25 years.
- China is threatened with a military campaign against Taiwan because of Pelosi's alleged visit. On Monday, August 1, 4 Chinese strike fighters entered Taiwan's airspace.
- In response, the United States is moving equipment closer to Taiwan, including aircraft carriers and large aircraft. Also in the US, due to the alleged visit of Pelosi to Taiwan, they are preparing a security plan for the speaker.
- In addition, in Taiwan, due to threats from China, they decided to increase the level of combat readiness.
- The United States believes that China is looking for the cause of the aggression and may carry out military provocations. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that if Pelosi decides to visit Taiwan and China creates tension, “the responsibility will be entirely on Beijing.”