Beijing is quite clear about its intentions vis-à-vis our position regarding Taiwan, what the regime considers a renegade province. The day after Pelosi’s recent visit to the island nation, Chinese ballistic missiles landed in six areas encircling Taiwan to include inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone waters, and not by mistake. Precision guided missiles usually land where they are intended, a clear message from the Communist regime to the nervous democrats in Taipei and allies like Tokyo and Washington.
Certainly, the three-day live fire drill by China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army is evidence that Beijing believes an invasion of the island nation is plausible. Now the clock is ticking ever faster as that assault seems inevitable. However, the key question is: What does this mean for nations such as the United States?
Let’s begin by dispelling a key misconception. In spite of President Biden’s repeated promises to rush to Taiwan’s aid if attacked by Beijing, we don’t have a mutual defense treaty with Taipei but we do have an interest in that country’s lion’s share — 85 percent — of the world’s production of semiconductors. In fact, we’ve lived up to our 1979 “One China” Taiwan Relations Act obligation by recognizing Beijing as the legitimate head of all Chinese people to include those in Taiwan.
What we don’t know is, given our so-called “strategic ambiguity policy” regarding Taiwan, whether as Biden said in Japan this May, the U.S. will rush to the island’s aid if China attacks. I’m doubtful about that promise and not just because we have insufficient forces in the western Pacific, but because China’s president is deadly serious about Taiwan and he has growing power to back-up his intentions.