“A new shift has occurred recently, and if anything, it has been even more dramatic. Here and there, and then suddenly almost everywhere, opinion shapers and experts have been saying that the great Chinese growth engine is broken and that the country is no longer destined to lead the world in the decades ahead.” Foreign Policy
OPINION: In the run-up to last week’s elections in Taiwan, Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping made repeated claims that the “reunification” of Taiwan with mainland China is a “historical inevitability.”
Mr. Xi would have the Taiwanese people believe that historical fact demands reunification and that its happening is inevitable. The truth is the exact opposite: “Reunification” is neither historical nor inevitable. Washington Times
In pure numerical terms, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) already dwarfs Taiwan’s defenders. But it’s in this crucial decade that informed observers believe Xi is seeking to develop his forces to a level that could offset their American counterparts if they chose to intervene in any Taiwan Strait crisis. Newsweek
Chinese President Xi Jinping is missing from the Chinese newspapers. This comes as people in Beijing and Shanghai are protesting against Covid lockdowns in the city. Crux
Washington now faces a serious dilemma. It is concerned that strategic ambiguity may no longer be sufficient to deter China from invading Taiwan, particularly in the face of China’s increasingly assertive talk of “resolving” the Taiwan issue through reunification. This could imply that the US needs to clarify and strengthen its security commitments. Asia Times
Taiwan’s worst Covid outbreak has left the island’s insurers bracing for more than $1 billion in claims that the financial regulator is urging them to honor Bloomberg
But, you know, my biggest insight from teaching this course over the past decade is that Machiavelli was misunderstood. He was not as Machiavellian as people think. For example, he was a big believer in republican forms of government and thought that dictatorship was a fundamentally flawed system. Foreign Policy
Except from Secretary Blinken’s speech
We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War. To the contrary, we’re determined to avoid both.
We don’t seek to block China from its role as a major power, nor to stop China – or any other country, for that matter – from growing their economy or advancing the interests of their people.
But we will defend and strengthen the international law, agreements, principles, and institutions that maintain peace and security, protect the rights of individuals and sovereign nations, and make it possible for all countries – including the United States and China – to coexist and cooperate.
Now, the China of today is very different from the China of 50 years ago, when President Nixon broke decades of strained relations to become the first U.S. president to visit the country.
…the US should embrace “strategic clarity” and confirm that the superpower would defend Taiwan and gather like-minded powers to preserve regional security should China risk an all-out war. As China has become more assertive, the US cannot rely solely on economic sanctions or Beijing’s concerns about being condemned.
The US was naive in supporting China’s global integration, hoping that China could become a responsible stakeholder. Washington has paid a price for China’s growing belligerence and its deliberate attempt to overlook its assurances. Taipeitimes.com
China is intensifying its drive for influence in the Pacific by negotiating security deals with two additional island nations following a pact with the Solomon Islands, according to officials in the US and allied countries. FT