US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month caused Beijing to respond in a way that is the largest seen since the third Taiwan Strait crisis, 26 years ago in 1996.
Fiery rhetoric accusing the US of “playing with fire” was followed by consecutive days of exercises involving live ammunition. International carriers including Singapore Airlines cancelled flights to Taipei following reports of multiple missiles lobbed across Taiwan. China hit Taiwan’s pockets too, with sanctions that include an import ban on fish and fruits while sand can no longer be exported to Taiwan.
The world, still reeling from the economic fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now has to contend with the possibility of another major disruption, should tensions escalate. The more imaginative may have a feeling of deja vu, given that optically, there are clear parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a potential Chinese military campaign against Taiwan.