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China’s blockade of Taiwan and why Xi Jinping is playing with fire




Xi Jinping after addressing the public in Hong Kong on June 30.  China's regime leader faces a key dilemma with Taiwan that could jeopardize his future ahead of the 20th Communist Party of China Congress (Reuters)
Xi Jinping after addressing the public in Hong Kong on June 30. China’s regime leader faces a key dilemma with Taiwan that could jeopardize his future ahead of the 20th Communist Party of China Congress (Reuters)

Those who follow him closely say that for some time now his face has reflected anger and concern. That it is not the same person who smiles and conveys tranquility to the population and his subordinates. Is ms feoironically someone who notices this change in grin. There are many things hanging over the head of Xi Jinpingbut above all one: the accounts that must be rendered in the face of the imminence Chinese Communist Party Congress (CCP). There, his long-awaited future for life will be defined.

The noisy 7 p.m. visit of Nancy Pelosi a Taiwan as part of his tour of Asia bring nuances to this future assembly. Xi therefore knows that it cannot stand still in the face of what the regime of beijing was previously referred to as provocation and an Red line that United States They must not cross. The trip aroused incredible expectation: hundreds of thousands of people followed live on the application Flightradar24 the trip by plane Boeing C-40 of Aviation carrying the 82-year-old experienced Democratic congresswoman from Kuala Lumpur a taipeiwhere she was received with open arms.

The government of Tsai Ing-wen weigh in advance the pros and cons of the presence of pelosi and concluded: A Taiwan It is visited by 50 million tourists every year. She is one more person who walks our land. We are a beacon of democracy and we only deny entry to terrorists. They even claim taipei would afford Xi arrived on the island to show him how good it is to live there in freedom, even if his dream is to keep it with his industries.

the greeting of pelosi caused an earthquake and a long debate on how to react beijing. Xi It is aware that it has no place to be petrified, but at the same time it knows that the consequences of overstepping the limits that the international community would accept could be devastating for its own economy, which is already beginning to feel the effects of the constant harassment of its citizens. Taiwan.

Over the past six months – from January to July 2022 – Taiwanese businessmen who had been in China They decided to return to their country because of the cooling of this economy and because they find that the guarantees with which they managed until recently were no longer the same. For some, in addition, there is a no less important factor: their sense of belonging. With them and their families, they moved not only their businesses, but also their millions. They are believed to have invested in Taiwan some $35 billion. A significant drain of money for the continent.

This experience does not only occur with Taiwanese but especially with Hong Kongers. in the last months hong kong experienced a similar migration before the overwhelming advance of beijing on their freedoms and on the controls undergone by one of the most important financial centers of the planet. The favorite destination of these disillusioned people is Singapore… there Taiwan.

But the island – whose official name is Republic of China– not only receives the dollars that come back from local entrepreneurs, but also sees how other countries are increasingly turning to the opportunities it generates. From January to June, large conglomerates of Finland, Australia, Singapore there Netherlands landed with investments close to 9 billion dollars. These figures represent an annual growth in foreign investment of 275.65 percent. In 2021, the growth of Taiwan he was from 6.57 percent and for this year we estimate 3.85 percent. Apparently it’s not just pelosi who is interested in what is happening in this small country of 23 million inhabitants.

But Xi must be active in front of two audiences: that of the CCP and international, even if the first of these audiences is the one that worries him the most. In recent years, his administration has been more aggressive globally against what has been called political warrior wolf. It consists of promoting tougher diplomacy, extreme nationalism and ordering each embassy to respond one by one to criticism of the regime in a hostile manner, as if the foreign territory were one of the concentration camps it built in Xinjiang for re-educate to minorities.

This demanding standard which imposed beijing is now a boomerang. Xi must overreact to the fleeting presence of pelosi and move their chips to show the CCP that its international policy cannot be called into question. But at the same time, it would be very risky to cross a Red line -according to the terms proposed by his regime- and launch a military operation to invade Taiwan. Nor any of the islets that surround it: such an action would have an immediate response from taipei. Both scenarios could trigger events of incalculable cost to beijing.

This is how the echo of the Russian bombs in Ukraine are heard in close: United States there Europe – the main markets of China-Imposing immediate sanctions on the regime for attacking an island that considers itself beacon of democracy. Contrary to Russia – where the consequences are only beginning to be felt, the economic warnings against the Asian country would have an immediate effect on its industries and on the public. Logically, an unprecedented global recession would ensue.

However, unlike the scenario in which he is immersed Vladimir Poutine -which controls almost all of the political and repressive apparatus of the KremlinXi Jinping must give explanations in the coming months to a very demanding party congress which shows signs of dissatisfaction with the 69-year-old boss who dreams of going down in local history as a Mao Zedong oh Deng Xiaopingas planted by the former Taiwanese admiral Lee Hsi-min in an article published in The Economist. China cannot allow its economy to continue to show signs of weakening and a war could be devastating internally, even if he ultimately emerges victorious. beijing needs its gross output to remain at a number of other times, which seems increasingly remote from recent policies of COVID-zero who imposed the regime and chased away – chased away – capital.

Xi So he opted for what he had been doing silently for years with his army of illegal fishing boats: a blockade of Taiwan. This military fence -as confessed by a Chinese military and reproduced in the official press agency Xinhua– will end this Sunday, August 7. It will act like a too-sharp sword on the neck of taipei if it continued over time. And also, again, it could have very serious consequences for the global economy. Taiwan hold oil reserves for 146 hours; of carbon by 39 das; but above all it only has gas reserves for 11 of the. Currently, due to the Chinese blockade, no ships enter or leave the island. Neither with these sources of energy nor with food. ICT Tac.

This last caveat is crucial. The island needs gas in order to continue operating one of the industries that has generated the most headaches during the pandemic born in Wuhan: That of microprocessors. Garlic works TSMC the biggest company in the world fries who was visited by pelosi and it’s a real obsession for beijing. The small country of 36,000 square kilometers provides 40% of it to the entire planet. If he stops producing them and his freighters cannot leave ports, a global recession is guaranteed. Once again, China I’ll feel it before anyone else.

Meanwhile, the government of taipei he looks calm. its president, Tsai Ing-wen held a beijing act with reason and don’t be intimidated. On the contrary. Taiwan not escalate the conflict, but we will defend our sovereignty, our democracy and our security with determination. There were several state agencies that were on guard against the Chinese threat. This admonition to the neighboring scheme responds to the versions about the possibility that Xi decided on an amphibious action against an islet near the main island. We will answer for these 800 inhabitants, toowarns from the Taiwanese capital.

This insignificant military action would lack strategic sense and would trigger a series of actions that would be difficult to predict. The chinese military blockade alert Japan who raised his voice because one of the scary missile tests invaded his exclusive economic zone. Tokyo has already warned that it would come to the aid of Taiwan in the event of an attack on its sovereignty. To the Asian power will be added United States, Filipinos, South Korea, India there Australia.

Too many powerful fronts to deal with at the same time. This perhaps explains the dark face and uneasiness of Xi Jinping.


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