New fibrillations between Taipei and Beijing

Tension has risen again in Taiwan. In recent days, Beijing has deployed ships and planes near the island, conducting military exercises: a move that basically took place to coincide with the inauguration, which took place on Monday last week, of the new Taiwanese president, William Lai. Furthermore, it is no mystery that the Dragon did not appreciate his victory Lai in the presidential elections in January: the PCC has historically accused its faction, the Democratic Progressive Party, of “separatism”. Not only. The People's Republic even defined its military exercise as a “punishment” for the new president's inauguration speech, during which he said that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait “are not subordinate to each other”.

It is in this context that, in recent hours, a delegation of US parliamentarians visited Taipei. “There should be no doubt, there should be no skepticism in the United States, in Taiwan or anywhere in the world, regarding the American determination to maintain the status quo and maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait,” said M.P. republican, Andy Barr. “All democracies must stand united against aggression and tyranny,” echoed his colleague Michael McCaul. A visit, that of American parliamentarians, which the new Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Lin Chia-lung, defined it as “an important gesture of solidarity”. In response, Beijing, needless to say, accused Washington of interfering “in China's internal affairs”.

In short, Taiwan is increasingly at the center of the confrontation between the United States and China. What is at stake is not only the strategic issue of microchips but also that of the competition for geopolitical influence on the Far East. On the one hand, Washington is reiterating its support for Taipei: just think of the recent military aid package approved by Congress. On the other, Xi Jinping continues to talk about “reunification”: one Xi Jinping which, in mid-May, he received Vladimir Putin, with the aim of further strengthening that “limitless partnership”, which Moscow and Beijing had announced a few days before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is a series of upheavals that raise fears of an invasion of the island by the People's Republic. For this reason, the White House should hurry to restore deterrence against the Dragon. Otherwise, the risk of a domino effect could be disturbingly just around the corner. Beijing is waiting to attack the international order that has emerged since the end of the Cold War.