What is happening?
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is nearly through its twentieth Party Congress, a key event held twice per decade that signals the direction of Beijing’s domestic and foreign policies. The Congress opened on 16 October with a two-hour speech by President Xi Jinping and will run through 22 October. So far, Xi’s speech and the draft Party Congress report – the most important document that will emerge from the event – suggest a more pessimistic assessment of China’s external environment and a heightened perception of threats to its national security. But they also reflect considerable continuity in statements of national objectives and timelines for reaching them.… Seguir leyendo »
The risk of a crisis emerging from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this week is uncomfortably high. A crisis is not inevitable if Washington and Beijing engage in deft diplomacy, but the visit will probably lock in place an even more confrontational dynamic, increasing the chances of US-China conflict over Taiwan in the future.
No matter what immediate tit-for-tat reactions there are to the visit, the troubling long-term implication points to the urgent need for the Biden administration and Congress to better coordinate their handling of the Taiwan issue.
On Tuesday Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, the first time since 1997 that a US official of her seniority — second in the line of presidential succession — has visited the island.… Seguir leyendo »
What is happening?
The first days of October brought a significant spike in Chinese military aircraft entering into the south west corner of Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). The number of such aircraft in the ADIZ broke records three times, on Friday 1 October with 38 planes, Saturday 2 October 39 planes and Monday 4 October 56 planes. Prior to this streak, the record for the largest number of Chinese military planes to enter Taiwan’s ADIZ in one day was set on 15 June 2021, when 28 entered.
The area that the planes flew through is not Taiwan’s territorial air space, which starts twelve nautical miles from its coast.… Seguir leyendo »
On 15 August, the Taliban capped their drive for power in Afghanistan by taking Kabul, the country’s capital, for the first time since they ruled most of the country from 1996 to 2001. With the previous government’s collapse, the group is now the de facto power throughout the country and is in the process of forming a new government and revamped state system. Questions are swirling about how they will govern, such as whether they will attempt to exercise a monopoly on power or give some roles to other political forces and whether they will try to reimpose the harsh social restrictions, including on women, that they enforced in the late 1990s.… Seguir leyendo »