(NewsNation) — Chinese leaders announced more military exercises near Taiwan between now and the end of the week. At least one commentator from Chinese State Media said military drills off the coast of Taiwan will now become more routine.
The show of force is a clear and alarming escalation in the tension between the U.S. and China, which is leading many American lawmakers to believe an invasion of Taiwan could be closer than we thought.
Just last week, the Chinese government cut off all ties with the U.S. on matters of military cooperation, climate deals and preventing illegal drugs from flowing into the U.S.
That came after its military held live fire drills and a mock invasion of Taiwan. Some senators say China was heading down this path already and used Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as a pretense to become more aggressive.
Some foreign policy experts believe Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was an excuse for China to further its plan in isolating the neighboring island, as China previously gave warning of what would come should the House Speaker visit.
“Taiwan is one of the most sensitive issues for the Chinese government and Beijing likely extended the war games to really enforce just how angry it is about Speaker Pelosi’s visit to the island,” said Sam Bresnick of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Chinese fighter jets have also flown over areas of Taiwan’s airspace. What does this mean for Americans?
The U.S. relies on China for so much of our food and other products. Strained relations could mean huge disruptions in supply chains which may mean higher costs.
Some lawmakers say that’s why it’s crucial for the U.S. to cut America’s reliance on China especially for the microchips and semiconductors that power phones, cars and military equipment.
“It could be disastrous if it relates to this particular subject,” Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee Senator Maria Cantwell said. “That’s why I think Americans know we need to diversify and have manufacturing here in the United States.”
“It is important for national security. It is important for all these new applications we’re talking about,” she added.
Senator Cantwell was instrumental in getting the chips bill passed, which aims to reduce American reliance on China and Taiwan for those chips. President Biden is set to sign that bill into law Tuesday.