America Is Back?

Democratic politicians and their press adjunct are promoting the absurd idea that “America is back!” As though we had gone away during the Trump years, when American interests were pursued aggressively, successfully and peacefully–a pretty good combination. What is actually happening now is that we have a senile president surrounded by leftists who have no interest in defending American interests or American allies. Hostile powers are moving to fill the vacuum.

The London Times has a sobering account of China’s designs on Taiwan: “With Hong Kong subdued, Xi’s gaze turns to defiant Taiwan.”

China is ratcheting up military pressure on Taiwan, probing the air defences of the self-governed island on a near-daily basis amid fears of impending conflict.

According to Taiwan’s ministry of national defence, Chinese planes, sometimes in large numbers, entered the zone at least 18 times last month, 17 times in February and 27 times in January.
China’s constant flexing of its military muscle around the island is part of an intensifying five-year campaign under President Xi, who has vowed to annex Taiwan, if necessary by force, by 2050.

…Under Xi, the campaign to return [Taiwan] to the fold has moved beyond rhetoric and is a tenet of his leadership.

The role of the U.S. is crucial:

As well as trying to sap Taiwan’s appetite for a fight, the incursions are a message to the United States. Washington is obliged to equip Taiwan militarily under a defence pact but whether an American president would send US forces to defend the island has always been uncertain. It is an ambiguity that in the past has helped to serve as a deterrent to Chinese aggression. Xi appears willing to test this.

Joe Biden is widely suspected of being in China’s pocket as a result of his own corrupt dealings. But more charitably we can say that, apart from any such corrupt influence, we have a feeble president surrounded by leftists with little interest in national security issues. So China’s aggressiveness is perhaps over-determined.

The Times article assesses Taiwan’s ability to resist a Chinese attack. Then:

Experts generally agree that Beijing would not attack the island unless it was prepared to take on Washington.

Some believe that that moment may be approaching, as China’s military grows ever stronger and its economy looks better able to survive sanctions from the West.

It is predictable that Chinese pressure on Taiwan will increase, with no meaningful response from Washington. Maybe the CCP will invade one of these days, at considerable cost. As the Times says, “Taiwan is no easy military target and Beijing would prefer to subdue the island — which is separated from the mainland by at least 100 miles of fast-running strait — without firing a bullet.” Joe Biden’s election makes that goal–along with others sought by the Chinese Communist Party–more attainable.

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