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Nancy landed. So, will China attack Taiwan?

After Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, the issue of military threat remains unresolved.

For almost four decades, the vast majority of international political analysts and experts have called the Taiwan Strait the most crucial flash point on the globe, where the historical and strategic controversies between the United States, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan have intertwined.

However, at the same time, a kind of status quo has formed around Taiwan: the Republic of China does not declare independence (although de facto it fully complies with the principle of an independent country), the United States does not violate the principle of "one China" (a rather vague definition of which is contained in the first bilateral US-China communiqué of 1972), while Beijing, in turn, does not use radical military means to capture the island.

Given the military and political potential of all parties involved, if we include Japan and Russia, it has been obvious that any scenario involving military conflict could really develop into a large-scale destructive war with unpredictable consequences for everyone and humanity as a whole.

Russia's attack on Ukraine shifted the focus of military analysts from East Asia to Europe. For some time, Ukraine has been considered as a place where a new strategic line of military confrontation is being formed between the world of revanchist countries, which have sacralized their aspirations for territorial acquisitions, and the democratic world led by the U.S. and Europe.

Now, the strategic military confrontation in the region of the Taiwan Strait has intensified again due to the visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, Nancy Pelosi.

Russian aggression opened a certain window of opportunity for China to achieve its own goals. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has constantly voiced slogans based on China's acquisition of Great Power status and the "final reunification of the Motherland."

On a more practical level, he aims to overtake the US in terms of combined GNP and annex the island of Taiwan.

Since Washington's attention was mostly focused on Ukraine, the Chinese side launched a kind of diplomatic and strategic game of "partnership with Russia", which should signal to the former that it should make concessions not only on sanctions but also on the "Taiwan issue".

The growth of China's military power coupled with the U.S. spending significant resources to help Ukraine should make the Biden administration more compliant.

Nancy Pelosi and Beijing’s threats

However, the Chinese government, much like the Russian one, has miscalculated, first of all from the perspective of political psychology, since applying military pressure and coercion to democratic societies results in them being not scared and nonfunctional but, on the contrary, more consolidated and resolute to defend their values.

The landing in Taipei of the plane carrying Nancy Pelosi, the second most important U.S. official (or one of the top three), despite China’s rather belligerent threat to take it down, has become an event filled with many senses, and not only political ones.

First of all, Washington has shown determination in supporting its allies, which is of great importance from the perspective of their further consolidation and cooperation.

At the same time, considerable emphasis was placed on the fact that this visit is also the support for not only allies but also democratic governments, and, as the speaker of the House of Representatives said, this is largely "the global commitment of the United States."

The psychological drama that ended with the appearance of Pelosi on the island is also a demonstration on the part of the U.S. of the inadmissibility of any military threats from Beijing. After all, if Pelosi had not stopped at Taiwan, it could have been seen as a weakness and a political victory for Beijing.

It should also be added that a large number of American ships, led by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, were concentrated near the Taiwan Strait.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait: what will be the results for Ukraine?

So what are the geopolitical consequences of this event, including for Ukraine?

There’s a high probability that Beijing will be periodically doing Russia courtesies and maybe even demonstratively provide it with aid, although a rather symbolic one.

However, this will unlikely become a decisive factor in Russia’s economic and military survival, since the flagships of the Chinese economy operate on a global level and beware of sanctions.

Whatever unilateral aggressive actions China might take, they would further distract technologically advanced economies from political or strategic cooperation with a country preparing for a future war.

And finally, given Moscow's barbarian behavior in Ukraine, the warlike narrative is gradually becoming acceptable for most of the world’s countries.

Of course, by selling resources to Beijing, Russia by far secures an economic foundation for its survival. However, we have no evidence of the aggressor army using Chinese military equipment by now, unlike parts supplied by European manufacturers who violated the sanctions introduced in 2014.

Beijing understands that Washington also has the means to react, like, for instance, a joint response with Japan.

Unbalanced politics and unequivocal military support for the aggressor can further push China toward a more radical revision of defense spending.

So, will China attack Taiwan?

The resolve and devotion of the Ukrainian people in fighting off external aggression has upset the plans of a number of countries, including China.

A number of indicators show that China expected a swift Moscow’s victory, which, in turn, would have triggered a military scenario of annexation of Taiwan.

To the contrary, today, Ukraine has become not only an example of fighting for its own values and identity, the importance of which was downplayed by authoritarian dictatorships, but the foundation for the preservation of the system of international law and order.

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