The War Drums are beating and this time it’s serious. China is ramping up the pressure on Taiwan. It is sending a record number of jets to deliberately fly into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone. It sent over 50 on Monday.
These sorties can be a precursor to war if China wants it. Taiwan must scramble its jets in response. Given China is bigger and has more forces at its disposal, Taiwan expends a greater proportion of its resources to keep its jets in the air. China can also use these missions to analyse Taiwanese tactics and probe its weak spots.
China has escalated its rhetoric. It considers Taiwan to be a rogue province, and wouldn’t even pay it the dignity pf declaring war if it chose to invade. Take these quotes from CCP mouthpiece, the Global Times for example:
Diplomatic measures alone are obviously not enough. If the US and the Taiwan island change the names, they are suspected of touching the red line of China’s Anti-Secession Law, and the Chinese mainland will have to take severe economic and military measures to combat the arrogance of the US and the island of Taiwan. At that time, the mainland should impose severe economic sanctions on the island and even carry out an economic blockade on the island, depending on the circumstances.
Militarily, Chinese mainland’s fighter jets should fly over the island of Taiwan and place the island’s airspace into the patrol area of the PLA. This is a step that the mainland must take sooner or later. The name change provides the Chinese mainland with sufficient reason to strengthen our sovereign claim over the island of Taiwan. It is anticipated that the Taiwan army will not dare to stop the PLA fighter jets from flying over the island. If the Taiwan side dares open fire, the Chinese mainland will not hesitate to give “Taiwan independence” forces a decisive and destructive blow.
Mind you, China always talks like this. So how do we know it really means it this time?
Tony Abbott is currently in Taiwan on a “private visit”, although for some strange reason he was fortunate enough to have an audience with Taiwan’s President:
The former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told the president of Taiwan he hopes his visit to the democratically ruled island will help end its isolation from the international community.
Abbott met Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei on Thursday. He said China’s recent incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone made it even more important that “fellow democracies stand shoulder to shoulder with you”.
The ex-prime minister, speaking a day before he is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech to a regional conference, appeared to describe Taiwan as a “country” – a position opposed by China which considers it a renegade province.
“It is in large measure to try to help to end this isolation from which Taiwan has been suffering for so many decades that I am here in this country and I do hope that this will be the first of many visits,” Abbott said.
What is so significant about Australia’s former Prime Minister visiting Taiwan?
It is because we are literally not supposed to send any sitting government minister to Taiwan in any official capacity. You’re not even supposed to call Taiwan “Taiwan”. China goes ballistic if any country breaks these protocols. Literally ballistic.
If you want to do diplomacy with Taiwan, you have to do so on the sly, in “unofficial” capacities. In other words, you send a former Australian Prime Minister who still holds enormous respect with important people all across the world. There is a reason they didn’t send Rudd.
So why has Australia sent Tony Abbott to Taiwan in the middle of the biggest existential crisis it has ever faced? The answer is that Australia didn’t send him, America sent him. The American government wants somebody it knows is smart, loyal and can speak frankly with the Taiwanese government on behalf of Washington.
It picked the former Prime Minister of its key ally in the region as a message that it means business. Sending Tony Abbott to Taiwan thus indicates that America takes the threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan very seriously, and considers the possibility that China could actually do it in the very near future quite likely.
He is probably there on the most important mission of his life.
America is at the its weakest ebb in its history and it only has further to fall. America isn’t even a country anymore. Its government is currently demonising half the country – the White progeny of America’s founders half – as terrorists. These Real Americans have responded by sending a message to the not-President at every chance they get.
These are not the kind of people who look ready to die for their fake Commander in Chief, they look like the kind of people ready to do away with him. Thus America is hard pressed to project power and defend its allies and China knows it. You can’t really envy the guy stuck with the task sending that message.
The irony of all this is that many of our representatives are sellouts to the Chinese government, and even the ones who aren’t have let millions of Chinese in through the front door. “Australian values” are currently defined as replacing “Real Australian as fast as we can.”
As such, the Australian government is in for a rude shock if it calls on us to rush to its defence.