New tensions between the United States and China around Taiwan

Observe the evolution of tensions between the United States and China around Taiwan gives the impression of witnessing a series of events that inevitably lead to a dramatic accident. And clearly, neither Beijing nor Washington now intends to attempt to find an alternative to a potentially armed confrontation. Thus, since the start of 2021, Chinese air and naval forces increase demonstrations of force by organizing exercises near the island whose independence is not recognized by Beijing. For their part, the United States, with growing support from its direct Japanese, Australian and European allies, are also showing their muscles and their determination not to leave Taiwan without support.

Thus, since the beginning of the week, the American destroyer USS Curtiss Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke-class ship, crossed the Taiwan pass separating the independent island from the mainland, before approaching near the Paracel Islands, considered they also belong to People's China after Beijing began the construction of military and air bases unilaterally in 2012 on these islands also claimed by Taiwan. This maneuver angered the Beijing authorities, and according to Chinese media, the intervention of the Chinese Navy to "push back" the American ship.

USS Curtiss Wilburg US Navy Burke Military Alliances | Defense Analysis | Fighter jets
The destroyer USS Curtiss Wilbur crossed the Taiwan Pass and then approached the Paracel Islands earlier this week, angering Beijing and the intervention of the Chinese Navy

In response to what Beijing sees as an "intolerable and dangerous provocation" and "support for Taiwan independence", the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army conducted a new exercise involving JH-7 fighter bombers(cover photo), a Y-8EW early warning aircraft and a Y-8ASW maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, beyond the line marking the division of Chinese and Taiwanese airspace in the middle of the Taiwan pass. According to the Chinese media, whose verve is more and more belligerent over time, this show of force shows Taiwan that the Chinese forces can, if they wish, strike and seize the island militarily, while the United States has only very limited means and is only present part of the time. to try to prevent this.

The succession of provocations and counter-provocations, with its share of hawkish statements and affirmed certainties, is reminiscent of the situation that continued in the 80s, at the height of the Cold War in Europe. We also find the same rhetorical but also postural evolution in Europe vis-à-vis Russia, with an obvious over-interpretation of everyone's postures, and the affirmed desire to appear bigger and more determined than one is. Indeed, neither China, nor Russia, nor the United States are today in the military and economic-social capacity to start a war against each other with reasonable chances of success and hope. to obtain gains that exceed the losses that such a conflict would generate.

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