Pelosi's Roundabout Flight to Taiwan Shows China's Long Reach
Comment of the Day

August 02 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Pelosi's Roundabout Flight to Taiwan Shows China's Long Reach

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Instead of traveling northeast from Kuala Lumpur directly across the South China Sea -- a journey that might have brought her jet close to Chinese military facilities built on reclaimed land on islets and reefs including in the Spratly Islands -- Pelosi’s plane flew southeast over the Indonesia part of Kalimantan, or Borneo, before turning north and then to the east of the Philippines, according to imagery provided by Flightradar24. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Accidents happen when an abundance of care is abandoned. As great power politics unfolds and gels with domestic priorities in both China and the USA, there is potential for a crisis inducing accident. The heavily choreographed travel plans of politicians are less likely to provide a catalyst because of the size of the potential repercussions.  

Nancy Polisi’s Twitter page is highlighting her visit to Tiananmen Square 28 years ago where she unfurled a banner to recognize the efforts of democracy protestors. That’s as much about championing the cause of democracy as ensuring she and her party continue to appear hard on China.  

In 2013 China’s Belt and Road initiative marked the end of its long period of quiet accumulation of wealth and beginning of the attempt to exercise power internationally. The creation of its own international investment bank/funding organization, efforts to internationalise the currency, pressure being imposed on companies and individuals to fall in line with China’s world view, the crackdown in Xinjiang and new security law in Hong Kong all stem from that event.

In response the West’s attitude towards China continues to harden. This trend of competing for global dominance and access to critical commodities and trade routes is only going to intensify.

Energy independence is the new global power play. The USA has already achieved it. The permissioning of NuScale’s reactor design yesterday lends impetus to the argument small modular reactors will play a significant role in the future energy mix. They would be major enablers for charging the large number of EVs expected to hit the roads over the coming decade. That would also free up a lot more oil and gas to export which would reduce the ability of despotic regimes to influence global policy. 

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