To: 02/08/2022 15:51
If US Democrat Pelosi did stop in Taiwan on her Asia trip, it would be a real affront to China. But why? An overview of the most important questions.
Despite Chinese threats, top American politician Nancy Pelosi wants to visit Taiwan. China is already announcing countermeasures and flexing its muscles militarily. The Taiwanese Armed Forces are increasing their operational readiness. What role does a possible visit by Pelosi to Taiwan play?
Why is there a rumor about a possible visit?
In the run-up to this, several media had already reported on a possible visit by Pelosi to Taiwan. Neither Pelosi nor the US government had confirmed any reports. Taiwan also does not appear in Pelosi’s official itinerary. However, this is not unusual: the trips of US officials to the island nation are generally kept secret until they land.
How likely is Pelosi to visit?
At least there is evidence pointing to a Pelosi visit to Taiwan. Recently, a Taiwanese representative from the German News Agency confirmed that Pelosi, from Malaysia, will likely arrive in Taipei in the evening as part of his trip to Asia. Local media expect Pelosi in the afternoon (German time). Security has been tightened around the hotel where Pelosi may be spending the night. Tomorrow there could be a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen.
What is the basic conflict?
Chinese leaders regard Taiwan as part of China. In fact, there have been two Chinese states for 72 years: the Communist People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, which is still officially called that, but is internationally known by the name of the island on which it is located. finds – Taiwan.
Since the late 1980s, Taiwan has evolved from a dictatorship to a vibrant democracy. The island is one of the most politically stable democracies in Asia. China, on the other hand, is a communist people’s republic. The current head of state and party, Xi Jinping, considers “unification” with Taiwan a “historic mission”.
What do the Taiwanese want?
The majority of Taiwanese have long considered themselves independent and want to at least preserve the status quo. They also want to be internationally recognized as a democracy and not submit to a dictatorial system like in mainland China. The former Kuomintang government once had a right of representation for all of China, which is still reflected in the official name “Republic of China”. This request was dropped in 1994. At that time, Taiwan was transitioning from a dictatorship to a vibrant democracy. From the government’s perspective, any change to the status quo should be decided democratically by today’s 23 million Taiwanese.
What does the United States have to do with Taiwan?
The United States has long been committed to Taiwan’s defense capability — including by law. After China’s diplomatic recognition, the United States had already legally committed itself in 1979 with the “Taiwan Relations Act” to further support Taiwan’s defense capabilities. This usually happens through the delivery of “defensive” weapons. After the United States remained “strategically ambiguous” for deterrence purposes, US President Joe Biden went further than his predecessors, repeatedly calling it an “obligation” to defend Taiwan.
Moreover, the island between Japan and the Philippines is of great strategic importance – not only for China. US General Douglas MacArthur once described Taiwan as the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” of the United States. A conquest by China would be a cornerstone of its great power ambitions because it would open the door to the Pacific.
Is a Chinese military conquest imminent?
The danger of Taiwan being conquered by China has increased dramatically under Xi Jinping. To this end, China has long been modernizing its navy and air force in particular. It is assumed that the powerful president wants to implement the project during his term. In the fall, Xi Jinping wants to be confirmed for another five years. Other mandates are possible. A foreign ambassador recently said, “I hope Xi Jinping stays in office as long as possible.” This would push the time for a military conquest further into the future.
Why is Taiwan only recognized by a few countries?
China obliges any country wishing to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing not to have official contacts with Taiwan. We talk about the “one China principle”. After that, Beijing is the sole legitimate representative of China. Under Chinese pressure, Taiwan was expelled from the United Nations and international organizations. Only less than two dozen small countries still maintain diplomatic relations. Germany or the United States have only unofficial representation in Taipei.
Why are tensions important internationally?
The Taiwan dispute is one of the most dangerous hot spots in the world. Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, concerns are growing around the world that China could similarly attempt to conquer the democratic island. A military conflict would have a massive impact on the global economy. If a dispute between the United States and China escalates, two nuclear powers will clash.
Experts assume that a war against Taiwan would have massive and bigger repercussions than Russia’s attack on Ukraine – including Germany. Taiwan is the number 22 major economy, industrially well developed and strongly linked to the global economy. Much of the already scarce semiconductors come from local companies. Due to the heavy dependence on the Chinese market, German companies would be massively affected if economic sanctions were to be imposed on China, similar to those imposed on Russia.
With information from the dpa.