The Russian-Ukrainian tragedy showed us that war is not such an out-of-date phenomenon after all. The events of October 7th in Israel confirmed this. A twentieth-century brutality hovers over the “free” world. Invasive wars become a disturbing possibility. Something we had removed, rejected. The crystal of balance is cracking more and more and the hellhounds are baying to invade the world again. Many wonder whether the final hammer blow will fall Taiwan.
Of course, if there’s one thing the Chinese don’t know how to do, it’s war. Great discoverers of technical wonders, fighting is not their thing. They have always been invaded and colonized by everyone: Mongolians, English, Russians, Japanese. The Chinese army, despite having large numbers, has feet of clay just like the country it defends. Military technology is still very backward and generals who really know war only apply old Soviet tactics. Taiwan is a modern, technological island with a young and cosmopolitan population.
So, is there anything to worry about? War itself is one of the great obsessions of Xi Jinping. He, like a postmodern Mussolini, would like his people to be strong, fighting, capable of great military feats. Especially the young people. A disturbing term hovers in Chinese propaganda: “Rejuvenation” (Rejuvenation). Rejuvenate the old and lazy Han people through war. The “Chinese dream” of revitalizing an aging nation corrupted by Western weaknesses passes through military ideology. Who knows, maybe Xi too will look out from some balcony to harangue the army with the rhetoric of triumph and victory.
The reunification (read annexation) of Taiwan to the motherland is the great forbidden dream that torments the mind of the Chinese leader, the one who more than others has given China those geopolitical projections that it had never possessed. Also because from that small island there is access to the high seas and the “containment chain” on which the United States is counting could be damaged. It is to be hoped that this dream remains a Mussolini fantasy: Great but a little ridiculous. Unachievable.
In the meantime, we are studying the conflict in Ukraine and practicing. As long as we hear about exercises, the danger will not be real. What precedes the war is silence. And the United States? Disappeared. Confused. Like Xenophon’s army, they don’t know how to go back to being what they were. Let’s hope the silence lasts a long time.
Francesco Teodori, 16 January 2023
The article Taiwan mystery: is there anything to worry about? comes from Nicola Porro.