There are no "pure" politicians in Washington, they all have to be responsive to their constituents like Schumer and Gillibrand serve Wall Street, Manchin serves the coal industry and Cornyn and Cruz serve the oil and gas industries, Feinstein and Padilla support Hollywood, Silicone Valley and CA social media companies.
China is saber rattling, they can't scoop up Taiwan like Russia scooped up Crimea.
The 25 Chinese fighter jets, bombers and other warplanes flew in menacing formations off the southern end of Taiwan, a show of military might on China’s National Day, Oct. 1. The incursions, dozens upon dozens, continued into the night and the days that followed and surged to the highest numbers ever on Monday, when 56 warplanes tested Taiwan’s beleaguered air defenses.
Taiwan’s jets scrambled to keep up, while the United States warned China that its “provocative military activity” undermined “regional peace and stability.” China did not cower. When a Taiwanese combat air traffic controller radioed one Chinese aircraft, the pilot dismissed the challenge with an obscenity involving the officer’s mother.
As such confrontations intensify, the balance of power around Taiwan is fundamentally shifting, pushing a decades-long impasse over its future into a dangerous new phase.
After holding out against unification demands from China’s communist rulers for more than 70 years, Taiwan is now at the heart of the deepening discord between China and the United States. The island’s fate has the potential to reshape the regional order and even to ignite a military conflagration — intentional or not.
China’s military might has, for the first time, made a conquest of Taiwan conceivable, perhaps even tempting. The United States wants to thwart any invasion but has watched its military dominance in Asia steadily erode. Taiwan’s own military preparedness has withered, even as its people become increasingly resistant to unification.
China’s ambitious leader, Xi Jinping, now presides over what is arguably the country’s most potent military in history. Some argue that Mr. Xi, who has set the stage to rule for a third term starting in 2022, could feel compelled to conquer Taiwan to crown his era in power.
Mr. Xi said Saturday in Beijing that Taiwan independence “was a grave lurking threat to national rejuvenation.” China wanted peaceful unification, he said, but added: “Nobody should underestimate the staunch determination, firm will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Few believe a war is imminent or foreordained, in part because the economic and diplomatic aftershocks would be staggering for China. Yet even if the recent flights into Taiwan’s self-declared air identification zone are intended merely as political pressure, not a prelude to war, China’s financial, political and military ascendancy has made preserving the island’s security a gravely complex endeavor.
Until recently, the United States believed it could hold Chinese territorial ambitions in check, but the military superiority it long held may not be enough. When the Pentagon organized a war game in October 2020, an American “blue team” struggled against new Chinese weaponry in a simulated battle over Taiwan.
China now acts with increasing confidence, in part because many officials, including Mr. Xi, hold the view that American power has faltered. The United States’ failures with the Covid-19 pandemic and its political upheavals have reinforced such views.
Some advisers and former officers in China argue that the United States no longer has the will to send forces if a war were to break out over Taiwan. Under the right conditions, others suggest, the People’s Liberation Army could prevail if it did.
In Taiwan, China’s military provocations have bolstered political support for the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who has sought to forge ties with countries increasingly wary of China. The Biden administration is trying to bolster Taiwan’s defense capabilities and international standing, hoping to delay or prevent the need for American military intervention.
“The three sides have seen their interactions caught in a vicious spiral,” Jia Qingguo, a professor of international relations at Peking University who advises the Chinese government, recently wrote. “The process of vicious interactions between Taipei, Beijing, and Washington resembles the forming of a perfect storm.”
Two days after the fall of Kabul in August, as the Biden administration scrambled to evacuate thousands stranded by the American withdrawal, China staged military exercises explicitly designed to show off its prowess.
Chinese warships fired missiles into the sea south of Taiwan, while amphibious landing vehicles swept ashore a beach in China. It was one of the largest exercises ever to simulate an invasion across the Taiwan Strait.
In previous drills, the People’s Liberation Army maintained a gauze of deniability about its imagined adversary, but this time it left no doubt. One officer on Chinese television warned the United States and Taiwan “not to play with fire on the Taiwan issue and immolate themselves.”
The question is whether Mr. Xi intends to act.
He has vowed to lead the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” including bringing Taiwan under Chinese control. Some interpret that to mean within a decade, if not sooner. His hard-line policies have made it less likely that Taiwan could ever willingly agree to China’s terms, especially after Mr. Xi throttled political freedoms in Hong Kong.
China’s leaders began the long, politically fraught process of overhauling the People’s Liberation Army after watching the United States put its military power on display in the Persian Gulf war against Iraq in 1990.
Six years later, they understood just how far behind their military had fallen when the United States dispatched two aircraft carriers near Taiwan in response to China firing missiles into the seas near the island. After the American show of force, China backed down.
Robert L. Thomas, a former vice admiral who commanded the United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet in Japan, recalled a meeting with a Chinese admiral in 2015. The admiral told him that the 1996 confrontation still stung nearly two decades later.
Since then, China’s leaders have poured money into the People’s Liberation Army. In a decade, military spending grew by 76 percent, reaching $252 billion in 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (The United States spent $778 billion on its military last year.) Mr. Xi has also reorganized the military, raising the status of naval and air forces and pushing commanders to master joint warfare.
In an exercise last year, the military conducted a drill that simulated sealing off the Taiwan Strait from outside forces. What was unthinkable in 1996 could now be within reach. The exercise was like “trapping a turtle in a jar,” said a website run by China’s office for Taiwan affairs.
In war games since at least 2018, American “blue” teams have repeatedly lost against a “red” team representing a hypothetical Chinese force — in part by design, since the exercises are intended to test officers and war planners. In a game simulating a war around 2030, reported earlier by Defense News, the “blue” team struggled even when given new advanced fighter planes and other weapons still on the Pentagon’s drawing board.
The classified game culminated with China launching missile strikes against American bases and warships in the region, and then staging an air and amphibious assault on Taiwan, according to a Defense Department official. The officials concluded that Taiwan, backed by the United States, could hold out for maybe two or three days before its defenses crumbled.
The Pentagon’s annual assessments of China’s military have since 2000 chronicled its evolution from a large but ineffective force into a potential rival. Its latest report said Chinese capabilities have already surpassed the American military in some areas, including shipbuilding, conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and integrated air defense systems. All three would be essential in any conflict over Taiwan.
“I worry that they are accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States,” Admiral Philip S. Davidson, the retiring commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March. “Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before then, and I think the threat is manifest during this decade; in fact, in the next six years.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/09/worl ... aiwan.html
An internal assessment of the Chinese military by Taiwan’s defense ministry, reviewed by The New York Times, also documented the increasing challenge. China’s military, for example, has developed the capability to cripple communications around the island, the assessment found. That could hamper the arrival of American reinforcements.
“This really is the grimmest time I’ve seen in my more than 40 years working in the military,” Taiwan’s minister of defense, Chiu Kuo-cheng, told lawmakers on Wednesday. China already had the means to invade Taiwan, though still at a high price, he said. “By 2025, the cost and attrition will be squeezed lowest, and so then it could be said to have ‘full capability’.”
Passing that resolution would be saber rattling by the US, I don't think it's a bad thing.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan