China expanded its control over land and sea during the Obama years, only to be held in check while former President Donald Trump was Commander-in-Chief. In less than one week of Joe Biden moving into the White House, the communists are already flexing their military muscle and preparing for war. Beijing feared Mr. Trump, knowing the U.S. military would beat back any attempt to take physical control of Taiwan. The days of a strongman leading the free world are over.
“We warn Taiwan independence elements: those who play with fire will be burned. Taiwan independence means war,” Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Wu Qian reportedly threatened Biden and others. He went on to state China would take “necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security.”
During the Trump Administration, the U.S. and other free countries opened full diplomatic relations with Taiwan. It was Taiwan that alerted the world to the threat of Covid-19, exposing China’s attempt to hide the pathogen’s deadliness. Having already bought off the Biden family during the Obama years, China launched a military intimidation against Taiwan. The communists appear to be following the same playbook they used to seize control of Tibet and crush Democracy in Hong Kong.
In 1950, Tibet was positioned much like Taiwan. It was largely viewed as an autonomous culture with long-since-passed ties to China. The communists invaded and put free Tibetans under the boot of communism. The U.K. made good on an agreement to put Hong Kong under China’s umbrella with the stipulation its residents remained free and democratic. But recent history demonstrates the Communist Party seeks complete control. Hong Kongers who disagree with Beijing now get black-bagged, thrown into prison, or disappear.
Soon after Mr. Trump transitioned into private life, China violated Taiwan’s airspace with at least 28 fighter jets and bombers. The military exercise was not a subtle message. They backed up the violation with blatant threats that sent the Biden Administration begging and pleading.
“The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” Qian reportedly said about the flyovers. “They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”
This aggressive tact represents a 180-degree turn from China’s humble dialogue with the U.S. and other world leaders. The Trump Administration stood its ground with allies in the region by stepping up a military and naval presence. In 2018, the Trump Administration asserted freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea, and the communists backed down. The U.S. Department of State under Biden put the communists in their place by issuing the following statement.
“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” the State Department said.
Biden and his advisors have reverted to leading from behind. Their diplomatic strategy appears to be the equivalent of saying “Pretty Please,” and then “Pretty Please with Sugar on Top.” No wonder China rattles its saber and readies for war.