In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China engaged in a military show of force that raised fears Beijing could be preparing to take control of Taiwan by force, if not immediately, then in the near future. Such concerns are not off base, but fears of an imminent invasion of Taiwan are likely overblown.
In contrast to the reactions of some Western observers, Taiwan has remained remarkably unruffled by China’s reaction to Nancy Pelosi’s visit. From Taiwan’s point of view, China’s military display certainly represents a high-water mark in its pressure campaign, but part of a long pattern of behavior by Beijing.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary in the U.S. has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations. Unfortunately, the reactions within Taiwan and China have attracted less attention, as they are revealing of domestic factors driving decision-making on both sides of the strait.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China has responded with an unprecedented range of diplomatic, economic and military measures. The entire episode suggests that the One China policy, the diplomatic sleight of hand that has governed U.S.-China relations for over 40 years, might be reaching its expiration date.
In response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit this week to Taiwan, China has applied an expanded political, military and economic coercion toolkit to punish Taipei. That points to Beijing’s desire to increase the cost on Taiwan for attempting to expand its international space and further solidify the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship.