US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan has eliminated the chances of smoothing relations between Washington and Beijing for at least a decade.
While the world is fixated on immediate Chinese response to Pelosi’s deliberate provocation, it is important to consider China’s strategic and long-term response options.
Prior to analyzing these options, it should be made clear that China is not aiming to become a global hegemon.
It is not their goal.
In 2020, China’s foreign minister admitted that China does not have the capabilities to become a global hegemonic power.
Thus, let us analyze developments arising from Pelosi’s visit.
When the US establishment decided to provoke China, it most likely became clear to Chinese policy makers that taking the provocation bait was not in their immediate or even long-term interests.
A military conflict on the Asian continent would hurt China and benefit the US.
Armed conflict near China’s borders will bring war to its doorstep.
China is, therefore, unlikely to do what Russia did in Ukraine that would provide Washington leverage of a proxy-war.
Beijing knows that it reached the status of an important global power by pursuing economic and political tools, not military muscle.
The biggest trump card is China’s manufacturing capabilities.
The US retail industry depends heavily on China’s manufacturing and logistics facilities.
In the coming months and years, Beijing is likely to restrict access for US companies to its manufacturing sector.
Not just the US, many other western economies are also in need of China’s manufacturing ecosystem in order to quickly develop prototypes and make them available to consumers in a relatively short time.
These capabilities do not exist in western countries.
Whatever existed in this field has been negatively impacted by COVID-era lockdowns.
On the softer side of issues, Beijing will utilize the absence of western competitors in the Russian market and jump in when everyone else is moving out of there.
After Pelosi’s visit, China’s economic moves in Russia are most likely to acquire a strategically planned character with a geopolitical aim of ending or significantly weakening western hegemony.
It will not be business purely for profit.
Signals of China’s economic and trade moves which are outmaneuvering western hegemony can be heard in the US occupied Arabian Peninsula.
The fact that US-backed puppet regimes in the Arabian Peninsula are daring to show some economic and political independence from their masters in the White House is a clear sign of the impending end to western hegemony.
Beijing is likely to begin to offer economic and trade incentives to West Asian countries while keeping profit expectations to a minimum in order to marginalize western economies in the energy sector.
It seems the US has assumed that China will make moves against American hegemony via hard power, but the track record of modern China shows that this is not how it operates.
In the past 20 years, China increased its global influence via political and economic carrots, not destabilization, coups or wars.
However, as the west is locked in a geopolitical struggle with Russia where hard-power of both sides is being eroded, it cannot be excluded that some hawks in Beijing may think this is an opportune moment to activate China’s hard-power.
By visiting Taiwan, Pelosi broke an important pilar of the modern international relations system where the concept of nation state is its primary pillar.
According to General Assembly Resolution 2758, the United Nations considers Taiwan to be an integral part of the People’s Republic of China.
If Pelosi dared to break an important element of the US-designed world order, why should China hold back?