Record air intrusions by China into the Taiwanese airspace, over the past few days, have raised tensions in the region and questions regarding its allies’ commitment towards Taiwan’s autonomy and security.
In the TIPP Poll of 1,308 Americans completed on Saturday, we asked, "IF China were to try to invade Taiwan, should the U.S:"
- Come to the defense of Taiwan via an increase of economic sanctions on China
- Come to the defense of Taiwan directly via military action
- Combination of military action and economic sanctions on China
- Allow China to take Taiwan
The charts below show the results.
When we allocate those who support both military and economic sanctions, the support for economic sanctions is 43%, and military action is 41%. Only 7% said the U.S. should allow China to take Taiwan. 31% are not sure.
China's Reunification Aspiration And Recent Aggression
On July 1, 2021, the CCP's centennial, Chinese President Xi Jinping proclaimed that Taiwan would be reunited with the People's Republic of China, "bloodlessly" or not.
"Solving the Taiwan question and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people," Xi said. "All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any 'Taiwan independence' plots."
China has escalated its belligerence in the last four days, sending nearly 150 sorties near Taiwan. Since the beginning of the year, Chinese military jets and bombers, many with nuclear capabilities, have intruded on the island's airspace around 600 times.
These acts of aggression are sandwiched between China's National Day on October 1 and Taiwan's National Day on October 10.
Taiwan has been increasingly under threat from the mainland. Besides aerial sorties, Chinese naval vessels have been spotted near Taiwanese waters, and innumerable cyber attacks have targeted the island.
The island has been steadily increasing its military budget and upgrading its defense systems in response. Taiwanese Foreign Minister stated that Taiwan was willing to fight Beijing "to the end" and even sought Australia's support to prepare for war.
In response to the past four days' action, the U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. "is very concerned by the People's Republic of China's provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability."
China's spokeswoman responded, "Taiwan belongs to China, and the U.S. is in no position to make irresponsible remarks."
Beijing has flexed its military muscle in every instance it perceived Taiwanese actions as stepping out of line. In September, Taiwan applied to the 11-nation CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade deal, just days after China made its formal application.
The heightened aggression could be Beijing's attempt to dissuade the international community from deepening its ties with Taiwan.
Beijing feels implicitly targeted as the U.S. forges treaties and agreements like AUKUS and QUAD. The CCP could also be testing these before they bond and strengthen.
In the face of the U.S. botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, some believe that China is testing America's resolve to aid its ally.
There is enough reason to believe the Chinese aggression is more for show than an immediate annexation.
- China is already on the back foot for covering up the pandemic outbreak, which has claimed the lives of over four million people worldwide.
- China is in the grip of an energy crisis, which is likely to slow down its overall economic growth.
- China has to deal with the Evergrande situation as well as the broader housing sector's weakness. It is as yet unclear if these events will cause another global contagion.
- Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics opens in just four months on February 4. It is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games - a matter of great prestige - and will not jeopardize its success.
- Xi Jinping is angling for a third term, unprecedented in recent history, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds its 20th National Party Congress in October 2022. While seeming aggressive, the Chinese Premier is unlikely to draw the country into an all-out war.
Democracies in the region, namely Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, India, Taiwan, and Japan, regularly face the dragon's wrath. Americans want the U.S. to protect Taiwan, and the Biden administration must devise comprehensive plans to counter China's hegemony in the region, emphasizing Taiwan's protection.
Numerous Afghan opposition leaders, such as the famous Panjshir Valley commander Ahmad Massoud have fled to neighboring Tajikistan. They hope to use this safe haven as a base to fight the Taliban.
Whereas other countries in the region – notably neighboring Uzbekistan, Russia, and China – have been keen to establish decent diplomatic relations with the Taliban, Tajikistan has remained a fierce critic of Afghanistan's new rulers.
In a major symbolic gesture, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon conferred last month Tajistan's highest honor on Ahmad Massoud's father – Ahmad Shah Massoud.
Rahmon is keen to present himself as a defender of Afghanistan's ethnic Tajiks, the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, many of whom are opposed to the Taliban.
Biden's administration said Monday it would start talks with China soon to comply with a bilateral trade deal signed by his predecessor Donald Trump.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the "phase one" deal has not fully addressed concerns over China's unfair trade practices, while Beijing is falling short of some of its commitments included in the deal.
Her remarks came ahead of a looming deadline for China to meet its promise to increase its purchases of U.S. goods, such as farm products, and services by at least $200 billion for the two years through the end of 2021, as compared to 2017 levels.
While pursuing phase-one enforcement, the Biden administration will start a "targeted tariff exclusion process," indicating it will allow an exemption from the duties for specific imports. Such a process was created by the Trump administration but has expired, according to U.S. media.
Iran's new foreign minister said the country is serious about the nuclear talks but wants seriousness from the other side.
During a television interview on Oct. 3, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran "is serious about the negotiations, and we will return to the negotiations soon." He did not specify when "soon" is, but he said Iran is currently finalizing its negotiation team.
Regardless of when the talks start, Amir-Abdollahian has expressed numerous times that Iran's "economy will not be tied to the nuclear talks and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)."
Amir-Abdollahian said a deal in which the entirety of the JCPOA is implemented is what Iran is seeking, adding that Iran would not accept a deal in which one part of the JCPOA is implemented, and another part is not implemented.
An anti-cancer agent could be a cell with specially equipped potent balloons that pop when placed near an ultrasound beam—killing surrounding cancer cells in its wake.
The key to this operation is tiny protein bubbles that biologists call gas vesicles. Some bacteria and protists have the genetic ability to generate these structures on demand: If a microbe wishes to rise to the surface, it can generate a few gas vesicles, making its body more buoyant and pushing it upwards.
The researchers inserted E. coli bacteria, which are known to be inclined to colonize tumors, modified with the gene to let the microbes create gas vesicles.
After letting the bacteria circulate for five days, they turned on the ultrasound. By that time, the researchers found that those bacteria had colonized deep inside of the tumors.
Nearly two weeks after the ultrasound treatment, tumors that had been sabotaged had grown three times more slowly than those that weren't. And the test mice who had received the gas vesicle treatment survived, on average, more than twice as long as their counterparts.
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