So Nancy Pelosi is now visiting Taiwan. There are many cynical (and possibly true) tales about why she’s visiting, but those are not my concern.
As soon as she announced her intention to visit, the Chinese government puffed up its feathers and told her there’d be repercussions if she did. Then they ramped up their military on the coast facing Taiwan and threatened military action if Pelosi landed in Taiwan. Specifically, they said that if her plane had a fighter escort, they’d shoot it down.
Some have said she should have cancelled the trip. If she had, the American government would have been seen to be caving in to the demands of the Chinese government. If China can control which American politician is allowed to go where, then the last tenuous shreds of credibility will be torn away from Congress and America will be seen as cowardly.
So, as soon as China issued those threats, the visit had to go ahead. The American government was left with no option. Go ahead, or be seen as cowards in the face of China. There was no way out.
On the other hand, China now faces being seen as a paper tiger if they don’t respond to this visit as they threatened to. China, also, does not want to lose face and does not want to be seen to be backing down to America. Yet if they do retaliate, they risk world war three. Heck, they guarantee it. America does not have the ground forces to attack China so any war is defintely going to get very close indeed to nuclear.
All it will take then is one rogue state (Iran? North Korea?) firing off one small nuke and we won’t have to worry about global warming, caramel lattes or pronouns any more. We’ll all be hunting for the last shreds of food and water that doesn’t glow in the dark. If it reaches the point where either side is considering the Big Red Button, any nuke going off anywhere is going to trigger an automatic response. Neither side will have time to say ‘Hey wait, maybe it wasn’t them’ because once one nuke goes off, they have to assume that more are arriving within minutes.
Basically, China’s threats gave the US government no option but to go ahead with Pelosi’s visit, since otherwise they’d be seen as China’s pets. Now China has to decide whether it’s going to go through with those threats or be seen as simply sabre-rattling.
It’s a very dangerous situation, and all over an old woman visiting an island. China could have shrugged and dismissed it as American showing-off. Instead they’re gearing up for a massive war.
So, we have Europe threatening Russia, resulting in Russia turning off Europe’s gas supply and selling it to China instead. China has a reliable power supply and an enormous military, and now they feel provoked (although really the situation is mostly their own fault).
Interesting times ahead. I just hope the UK government recognises that we are far too small a country to get involved in something this big, although common sense is not a feature of most of our politicians at the moment.
If I lived in a major city, I’d be making plans to get out. Quick.