Mr. Xi’s choices to retaliate embrace holding menacing army workout routines, maybe in seas and skies nearer to Taiwan. He may additionally ship extra planes and ships close to Taiwan, together with by crossing the median line within the Taiwan Strait, a casual boundary that Chinese language forces cross solely occasionally.
After different American politicians and overseas delegations have visited Taiwan, Beijing has escalated flights into Taiwan’s “air protection identification zone,” an space that goes nicely past the island’s sovereign airspace, mentioned Gerald Brown, a army analyst in Washington who collects and analyzes knowledge on these flights. In November, China despatched 27 army planes into the zone quickly after US lawmakers visited Taipei.
At an excessive, China may additionally hearth missiles close to Taiwan, as in 1996. Again then, although, China’s army was too weak to noticeably threaten American forces throughout the area. If Mr. Xi did the identical now, the worldwide shock waves could possibly be a lot greater.
“I don’t assume that to this point there have been any indicators that China will launch main army operations,” mentioned Kuo Yu-jen, a political science professor on the Nationwide Solar Yat-sen College in southern Taiwan. “If China overreacts, bringing countermeasures from the US or Japan, for Xi Jinping, the losses would outweigh the features.”
Amy Chang Chien contributed reporting.