China mainland, Taiwan and US military complex theory
DESPITE Chinese strong messages and integrated diplomatic efforts to convince the US to stay away from its internal affairs, the US Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi, did not alter her plans and paid a visit to Taiwan and consequently infuriated China and its leadership.
The Chinese leadership, legislative body, foreign and military ministry and policy makers considered it as a serious violation and attack on its sovereignty, national pride and territorial integrity.
In this regard the Chinese foreign ministry lambasted that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan Strait is not a defence of democracy and freedom but a provocation and violation of China’s sovereignty.
Additionally, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has strongly condemned this scandalous visit which has created great tension in the Indo-Pacific region.
The PLA has already taken all possible measures for live fires, testing of missiles and joint military drills of all the armed forces within the 12 miles radius of Taiwan Strait.
According to the latest reports, even a Chinese nuclear submarine has joined the joint drill which is a clear signal to Taipei to stay away from these notorious acts of defiance.
The government has now suspended all agriculture and food item imports from Taiwan. Economic activities in the South China Sea have been halted. Uncertainty has now raised regional instability, insecurity and disharmony.
However, Indonesia, Pakistan and other regional countries still support the “One China Policy” which is a good omen for regional socio-economic integration and greater connectivity.
Even Secretary General of the UN Guterres supported the “One China Policy”. Ironically, the US government and its establishment still believe in “One China Policy” and honoured three communiqués signed between two sides in the past.
But now the question arises why Pelosi was launched for the so-called “Taiwan Independence Project”.
Answer is not simple but seemingly it was a planned move to maintain the strategic status quo in Taiwan and tactically delayed its reunification with China for some 5-8 years enabling Taipei to become stronger to defend itself.
But in all respects it was a diplomatic coup which has created unbearable heat and uneasiness between the two sides.
China rightly considers Taiwan as its integral part and will surely be reunified as soon as possible.
Time and again, the Chinese President Xi Jinping upheld the doctrine of “One China” which is indeed the basic essence of its foreign policy and relations with other countries.
Nancy Pelosi flew back from Taipei but left behind great crisis, born out of mistrust, hypocrisy and conspiratorial attitude of the hawks sitting in the Joe Bidden cabinet who have been persuaded to reactivate the “US Military Complex Theory (UMCT)” to earn more and more money out of military misadventure and deadly conflict in the Indo-Pacific region.
But thanks to the Chinese leadership which did not follow any military action and indulge itself in any misadventure and acted wisely and showed great restraint despite US provocations which is commendable.
Moreover, it is a bitter reality that right now the US macro-economy is at its lowest ebb and consequently has entered into recession thus the UMCT has great validity and relevance in case of Taiwan.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Foundation (SIPRI) the US Government spends on its military, annually, in not just its ‘Defence’ Department, but all of its departments taken together, around $1.5 trillion dollars.
On 25 April 2022, the Stockholm International Peace Research Foundation (SIPRI) entitled news “World military expenditure passes $2 trillion for first time”, and reported that, “US military spending amounted to $801 billion in 2021 which is the highest in the world.
Unfortunately, the UMCT ruined the true spirit of its constitution and owners of the military industries promoted a dictatorship serving the owners of the military corporations and of their extraction-corporate dependencies such as Chevron.
Since 1945 starting from Truman to incumbent Joe Bidden war euphoria, military misadventures and deadly conflicts remained a profitable doctrine of the successive governments to support its military establishment, defence departments and last but not the least military industries.
So marriage of convenience, somehow, out-performed other industries in the US. Frankly speaking, the US government was forced to remain on a virtually permanent war-footing, even though World War II against imperialistic fascisms had ended.
The US had to pass through the Global Neoliberal Militarism (GEM) which was surfaced as the defining institutional-ideological configuration of US militarism, with the rise to power of a neoconservative coalition centred on the privatization of all possible military functions while expressing an inordinate affection and affliction for military intervention embodying the worst illusions of the pre-First World War Prussian militarist.
The next crucial stage was the birth of Corporate Militarism Regime (CMR) which was meant for the acquisition of windfall and structural profits, technological spinoffs, patent-rights transfers and subsidized plant and equipment which may be now replicated on the so-called project of Taiwan Independence by the US and its strategic allies in the region.
Unfortunately, since the Second World War, corporate militarism has been active and jointly working with military Keynesianism and had close association with Global Neoliberal Militarism (GNM).
In this regard, between 2017 and 2021, the primary focus was on bolstering military contractors while U.S. leaders sought legitimacy by raising salaries for military personnel.
This process was engineered by a coterie of industrial titans controlling the commanding heights of the Pentagon.
Public assent for US militarism was constantly advocated through various integrated means from 2001 to 2016.
These years witnessed the rise of George W.Bush’s neoconservative war cabinet whose doctrine persuaded maintenance of global U.S.hegemony through military dominance and intervention in the world.
Thus the genie of terrorism was sponsored, designed and disseminated to come out of the bottle which ultimately birthed global franchised sanctuaries around the globe.
Ultimately 9/11 had happened and consequently defence spending was increased substantially as the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq began and endured.
In this connection, the active US Army grew from 470,000 to 548,000 and the Marine Corps expanded from 158,000 to 202,000, while Air Force and Navy end strengths remained static or declined slightly.
Afterward, the US transformative initiatives were further enhanced investment in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems and in precision munitions, as well as in force protection enhancements such as up-armoured wheeled vehicles.
To conclude, the US State Department announced its China Containment Policy in 2011 and thus started a new unending and indirect war against China by forming strategic military alliances in the shape of QUAD, AUKUS, military deals with Australia, Korea, Japan, Philippines and many others in the Indo-Pacific Region.
Thus the visit of Pelosi is the extension of the US hawkish attitude aiming to create military conflict and start selling arms.
Taiwan is the legitimate part of mainland China which will be re-annexed in the near future. The US provocations have some methods of madness which are in search of new flashpoints to start milking unlimited profits for its defence industries from the region.
Thus policy makers of China should take extra care about the US Military Complex schemes in case of Taiwan.
Even in his farewell address, U.S.President Dwight D. Eisenhower clearly warned its public about the increasingly powerful military-industrial complex and the threat it posed to American democracy which is still valid in case of Taiwan.
—The writer is Director, the Centre for South Asia & International Studies Islamabad & regional expert, China, CPEC & BRI.