China Threatens War with Biden Administration
China is threatening war after the Biden Administration responded to an air incursion near Taiwan.
The incident began Saturday when China sent a fleet of military aircraft over the small strait that separates Taiwan from mainland China. The flight, which included nuclear capable bombers, was the 20th Chinese air incursion this month.
The Biden State Department immediately issued a statement criticizing China’s aggression and affirming its support for Taiwan as “rock solid.”
Indeed, President Biden made his commitment to the island clear by inviting top-ranking Taiwanese representative Bikhim Hsiao to his inauguration. The Administration also sent the US Navy Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group into the South China Sea (located directly southwest of Taiwan) promote “freedom of the seas.”
“Washington should be prepared to defend Taiwan as the air exercises signal that China is about to provoke a crisis,” warns Gordon Chang, a contributor for The Hill, adding that China regularly tests new American leaders with “military exercises in…peripheral waters.”
Japanese leaders have encouraged the Biden Administration to consider Taiwan a sort of “red line” for US involvement.
Speaking Monday during a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear that China would not be bullied by the Biden administration: “To build small circles or start a new cold war, to reject, threaten, or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation.”
In response to criticism regarding China’s systematic capture and abuse of Uighur Muslims, Xi told his audience that no two countries and the same, and that differences are no cause for alarm. “What does ring the alarm is arrogance, prejudice and hatred; it is the attempt to impose hierarchy on human civilization or to force one’s own history, culture, and social system upon others.”
China is particularly confident right now given the success of its illegal yet unchallenged moves against Hong Kong, as well as the knowledge that it was the only major economy to post growth (2.3%) during the pandemic.
According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, China’s economy is expected to eclipse that of the United States in 2028.
Undaunted, President Biden is expected to maintain a Trumpian attitude towards China including a “buy American” initiative designed to boost domestic manufacturing, though he has made it clear that trade policy is not a priority.
What about Taiwan?
Taiwan’s position is complicated. It has all the hallmarks of an independent country, yet the international community does not recognized it as such. It has never explicitly claimed independence. From an international standpoint, Taiwan maintains the “one country, two governments” relationship with Beijing that Hong Kong is supposed to enjoy.
Similar to Hong Kong, China claims sovereignty over Taiwan. They are expected to make a military move against the island soon. A recent amendment to the Chinese national defense law gives President Xi the authority to mobilize the entire population of China.