Even if you don’t track news very closely, you may have heard a bit about China. The communist nation is rarely out of the headlines in recent years and there is good reason for that. All eyes were on Wuhan as the pandemic spread across the world, but now China’s fingerprints are evident everywhere.
While there may be a desire to knock America out of the top spot, analysts disagree about what China’s endgame is. Some claim to know what China wants, others say it is unclear what is in the mind of President Xi Jinping.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, sparked a fresh round of tensions by visiting Taiwan on a recent trip. Beijing, which views Taiwan as its territory, began military exercises in nearby waters and cut off diplomatic talks with the US. Described as “strategic ambiguity”, the US’ approach to Taiwan has been stated then walked back, or qualified. One expert characterized the situation this way: “The United States seems to be improvising its Taiwan policy, fueling Beijing’s suspicions about the United States’ true intentions and raising the risk of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait.”
While Speaker Pelosi’s visit has poked the tiger, China may be reluctant to pick a fight with anyone. The country is very dependent on other nations for energy and increasingly, food. According to some China watchers, the main goal of everything Beijing does is not so much to dominate or antagonize but to gain leverage over everyone else. Ross Kennedy of Fortis Analysis compiled a tweet thread outlining the “string of pearls” strategy China has adopted over decades, buying up ports in key shipping lanes, in waterways that also suit its Navy.
Our readers may know of the controversial proposals in North Dakota and also Texas, where Chinese companies have purchased large parcels of land. Concerns that Chinese-owned ventures could be used to spy on nearby military bases are countered with skepticism or accusations of racism. After all, Chinese people are not responsible for actions of the Communist Party! However, as a Taiwanese minister once said, “There’s no such thing as pure private companies in China”. If they don’t like your CEO, they will replace him.
While moves can be made to counter the CCP’s influence around the world, it is not clear that our leaders and elite class want that to happen, benefitting as they do from Chinese production and its consumers. So pray for this situation, that these tensions will not escalate further. Pray for our leaders to make wise decisions and be guided by truth not greed or fame. Pray for the godless regime in China to be thwarted and for our brothers and sisters there, who suffer for their Savior’s name.