The Republic of China (ROC) also known to the world as “Taiwan” has always been at loggerheads with its former archenemy namely, China. Relations between the two states have deteriorated right from their respective inception. Xi Jinping believes that there exists only a single China. Beijing continues to assert globally that Taiwan is part and parcel of China and one of its primary objectives is to annex Taiwan in order to “reunify” it with mainland China.
The visit of the Speaker of the House of Representatives (USA) Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan has resulted in the formulation and deepening of tensions. The Chinese have repeatedly warned the United States not to interfere in its political matters. A phone call between Xi Jinping of China and US President Joe Biden revealed that China is warning the US not to “play with fire”. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yei has issued a similar threat to America, warning them of “ferocious storms”. The Defence Minister of China “Wei Fenghe” informed US that China will not hesitate to start war with US over Taiwan.
Beijing has deployed around 29 warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defence Zone. They comprise of 17 fighter aircraft, six bombers and a few other supporting aircraft. The US President Joe Biden is worried that the plane carrying Pelosi can be tracked, detected and shot down thus endangering her life, hence overlapping rings of protection by US fighters and ships will be deployed into the risky zone.
The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has increased the frequency of its fighter aircraft, surveillance and bombers around Taiwan. Chinese Warships have also been organised into the Taiwan Strait. According to a report, the PLA Airforce has conducted a total of 555 sorties in an around Taiwan. China has also carried out several cyber-attacks on the Taiwanese government agencies. In the economic sphere, China has cut off trade with various nations supporting Taiwan. The Taiwanese Tourism Sector has seen a drastic fall. In response, Taiwan has conducted a large military drill and several rehearsals as a preparatory measure to deter an aggressive attack situation by China.
On the 2nd of August 2022, despite China’s warnings, Nancy Pelosi ‘s entourage had landed in Taiwan. Her flight has been described as the world’s most tracked flight. In retaliation China has undertaken several steps such as cancellation of meetings with US Secretary in Cambodia. Secondly, they have now warned US of grave consequences and have begun to put trade sanctions on Taiwan. It has halted imports from many Taiwanese’s companies that generally deal with fruits and bakeries.
Thirdly, the PLAAF have deployed 21 aircraft mostly (J-11, J-16, KJ-500), into Taiwanese air defence zone. It will also conduct military drills to intimidate Taiwan’s cities. Taiwan in response had activated their defense system. They are also planning to proceed with long range live firing in the Taiwan Strait. Diplomatically, the Chinese have summoned the US ambassador “Nicholas Burns” and have stated that United States must pay a price for its mistakes and also for its “political provocation”.
On the 1st of August, The United States of America’s National Security Coordinator John Kirby stated that it does not support Taiwan’s Independence and nothing has changed in the One China Policy. He further added that Nancy Pelosi has the” right to visit” Taiwan. As far as China’s banter of threats is concerned, Washington will not be intimidated and would not engage in any sort of “Sabre-Rattling” with China.
Analysis of the current geopolitical equations conclude that the Indo Pacific will be a hotly contested region (battleground) and the ongoing events can lead to a warlike situation involving US, Taiwan and the Peoples Republic of China in the near future.