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Taiwan – the test begins

Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, but under Taiwanese fighter escort, not American. The Chinese risked looking weak by not attacking. Yet.

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Nancy Pelosi did indeed land in Taiwan. That landing will test the patience of the Chinese as few things have.

Taiwan – what we know

This information comes from the Telegram channel of Dr. Stephen Turley. For everyone’s information, Taiwan time is also Chinese Standard Time, which is eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). (That last is Greenwich Mean Time, or London time in winter. Eastern or New York Time is five hours behind UTC, but New York Daylight Saving Time is four hours behind.)

With that in mind: at about 9:45 p.m. Taipei time, came word that a U.S. VIP transport, call sign SPAR 19, listed Taipei as its destination. Thirty-five minutes later came the confirmation. Nancy Pelosi’s aircraft began an approach toward Taipei. Elements of the Taiwan Air Force escorted that flight in.

Immediately thereafter, the Mainland government closed its airspace to commercial aviation in the direction of the Taiwan Strait. A minute later came reports that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force scrambled and sent several SU-35 fighters toward Taiwan. That evidently did not stop Nancy Pelosi’s flight.

Sirens went off in China’s Fujian province, on the Mainland side of the Straits. PLA Ground Forces moved several assets, including tanks, onto the beach across from Taiwan.

At 11:07 p.m. came a report of “dozens” of U.S. Air Force jet fighters taking off from Japan, headed for Taiwan. That, from Intel Slava Z.

Eventually the world learned that 21 PLAAF Su-35 jet fighters entered the Taiwan “Air Defense Identification Zone.” They drew warning fire from Taiwan Air Force elements – and apparently nothing more.

Next step?

At 2:41 a.m. Wednesday (Beijing Time), Dr. Turley forwarded a post from Global Intel Watch. They carried a tweet from Hu Xijin of Global Times. This same official had threatened to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane if it landed in Taiwan under American fighter escort. Perhaps because she landed under Taiwanese fighter escort, no one made a move to shoot her down. But more than four hours after the landing, Mr. Hu tweeted this:

PLA announced it would conduct live-fire exercises in 6 regions surrounding Taiwan island, a situation that surpassed 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis. This is not just a demonstration, but an actual exercise to liberate Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit is bound to speed up China’s unification.

The replies to this tweet – at least, those having illustrations – look like catcalls. Here are three examples:

Twitter also shows several tweets comparing President Xi and/or Mr. Hu to the children’s book character Winnie the Pooh.

But this tweet seems to be darkly wishful thinking.

If Chinese unification looks anything like Russian / Ukraine unification (e.g. turning everything into dust), then that’s not a victory.

CNAV has it on good authority that unification between Russia and those parts of Ukraine where Russia has enjoyed its most prominent victories, has not looked like “turning everything into dust.” To the contrary, Russia has sent massive humanitarian relief convoys to the areas of its most intense operations. They also have sent construction crews for rebuilding of bombed-out areas.

Naval assets near Taiwan

The back-and-forth over Taiwan involves more than ground and air assets. It involves naval assets also, including USS Ronald W. Reagan CVN-76 and three other U.S. Navy ships.

Exactly why Nancy Pelosi picked this time to go to Taiwan is far from clear. At least one source says Paul Pelosi, Nancy’s husband, has lately invested heavily in Nvidia, Taiwan’s premier computer chip maker. That could be one reason she wanted to visit the island. Others say that Nancy Pelosi has borne a grudge against Mainland China ever since Tiananmen Square. Apparently she visited the Square without an invitation, and Chinese officials threw her out of the country.

Still another source suggests the White House came slowly to defend Pelosi’s trip.

The reportage, even now that the landing has taken place, seems very confused. Some of it suggests dissension in the higher echelons of the U.S. government. And what happened to those U.S. Air Force assets that were supposed to have scrambled out of Japan? Dr. Turley forwarded one report about those jets (from Intel Slava Z) at 11:07 p.m. China time. After that – nothing.

As of 3:30 a.m. China time, everything is quiet. Nancy Pelosi plans some meetings, and an awards ceremony of some kind, before leaving Taiwan Wednesday evening.

What does the Biden administration want

Did Nancy Pelosi go to Taiwan entirely on her own, against White House desires? Or did they send her there, hoping to provoke a big confrontation?

President Biden has a motive for wanting a confrontation. He desperately needs to distract people from the unmitigated disaster that has been his administration. For that matter, Nancy Pelosi needs that distraction, too. Quite apart from her shady insider investments (if she has any) in Taiwan, and from any grudge she bears over Tiananmen Square, she has another, plainer motive. Unless something drastic changes voter percepts of the Democratic Party, she will shortly lose her Speakership. And she might never get to be Speaker again.

Biden’s drone strike against Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over Al-Qa’ida (“The Base”) from Osama bin Laden, comes from the same motive. This is a distraction, and Biden needs all the distractions he can get.

Why haven’t the Chinese moved with greater force? Why, for example, did they decline to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane? Was it strictly because she landed in Taiwan under a “local” fighter escort, not an American one? Chinese officials have used flimsier excuses than that to “save face” while failing to carry out a dire threat. Still, threatening to shoot and then not doing it makes them look weak.

Deadly patience

Or are they as weak as that? China is the oldest of all human civilizations. With great age, and lifespan, come patience. Maybe the Chinese have made this one of their proverbs:

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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[…] it is known as China.) Specifically, I will offer a few thoughts on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to […]

[…] it is known as China.) Specifically, I will offer a few thoughts on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to […]

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