China's military simulated precision strikes against Taiwan and “foreign military targets" in “very provocative” military drills around the island on Sunday. China claims the democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory. It began military exercises around the island on Saturday, the day after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a brief visit to the United States where she met with members of Congress. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan and does not support Taiwan independence, but it is committed to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defense and to ensure that Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means.
Class discussion: China’s government has not ruled out using military force to take over Taiwan, while President Joe Biden has said the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense if it were subject to an unprovoked attack. Could China and the U.S. face a military confrontation over Taiwan? Has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine encouraged Chinese leaders to step up military threats against Taiwan? Or, has Russia’s trials in Ukraine made China more cautious? When was the last time Chinese and American troops actually fought each other? China and the United States are the world’s largest economies. What would a confrontation between them do to the rest of the world?