China Begins Military Drills Around Taiwan

    Photo: AFP [via BBC News]

    The Facts

    • On Thurs., China fired multiple missiles towards the sea near northeastern and southwestern Taiwan, according to the island's Defense Ministry. The news comes as the Chinese military's Eastern Theatre Command stated it had conducted long-range, live-fire training in the Taiwan Strait.

    • This comes a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the island, wrapping up the first visit of a sitting speaker to Taiwan in 25 years.


    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    As a global champion of democracy and human rights, it's only right that the US should support Taiwan and its democratic government. This response to Pelosi's visit to the island is an outlandish escalation on China's part.

    Pro-China narrative

    Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was an intentional provocation that has raised tensions across the Strait as well as in Southeast Asia. The US is clearly conspiring to violate China's sovereignty under the pretense of "democracy," and has forced China to respond with a show of strength.

    Narrative C

    While China's military escalation is concerning, neither the US nor Beijing have the appetite to escalate to war. This expected response is intended to be a show of potential strength rather than lead to a declaration of war.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 7% chance that there will be a military conflict between the PRC (China) and ROC (Taiwan) before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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