For months now, the world has been on edge, wondering which corner of the globe the first shots of World War III will be fired from.
It almost feels inevitable at this point, sadly, as the authoritarian regimes of the world continue to consolidate both power and influence. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and others are appearing to rally together to make the western world appear less threatening, and some of the actions they’ve taken have been bolder than previously believed likely.
The latest concerns regarding a coming global conflict have arisen in the Far East this week, as China has now surrounded Taiwan and claimed that they are “ready to fight”.
China’s military declared Monday it is “ready to fight” after completing three days of large-scale combat exercises around Taiwan that simulated sealing off the island in response to the Taiwanese president’s trip to the U.S. last week.
The “combat readiness patrols” named Joint Sword were meant as a warning to self-governing Taiwan, which China claims as its own, China’s military said earlier.
“The theater’s troops are ready to fight at all times and can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts,” it said Monday.
The United States was well-implicated in the situation as well.
The Chinese actions follow President Tsai Ing-wen’s delicate mission to shore up Taiwan’s dwindling diplomatic alliances in Central America and boost its U.S. support, a trip capped with a sensitive meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California. A U.S. congressional delegation also met with Tsai over the weekend in Taiwan after she returned.
China responded immediately to the McCarthy meeting by imposing a travel ban and financial sanctions against those associated with Tsai’s U.S. trip and with increased military activity through the weekend.
“China wants to use any increase of diplomatic interactions between the U.S. and Taiwan as an excuse to train its military,” said Kuo Yu-jen, a defense studies expert and director of the Institute for National Policy Research in Taiwan.
The Biden administration has overseen several high-profile provocations against China in regard to Taiwan, and it has many Americans wondering if we are marching toward war.
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