A Quiet Response

In lieu of shooting down Nancy Pelosi’s plane, China opts for a considerably more brutal economic response:

For the past two days, there seemed to be no other news in the world than the visit of the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to Taiwan. Nancy Pelosi’s plane overshadowed both the fighting in Ukraine and the global financial and energy crisis. As a result, a representative of the American establishment did visit the island, and China confined itself to a series of extremely harsh political statements. This fact triggered an avalanche of alarmist statements from all kinds of experts trumpeting China’s strategic defeat. The emphasis was made exclusively on the military aspect, while completely overlooking the fact that we are talking about an Asian country, that is, a state with a different mentality, power system, political scenarios and approaches from the European one.

While everyone was watching the maneuvers and exercises of the PLA Navy, Beijing delivered an imperceptible, but perfectly calibrated and crushing blow. Since August 3, it has been strictly forbidden to send sand to Taiwan. For Taiwan, this is far worse than a direct military invasion and an amphibious landing.

The disruption of imported supply chains of construction sand and quartz sand could potentially send not only the Taiwanese economy, but the entire global electronics industry, from game consoles to the “brains” of modern missiles and fighter jets, into a deep knockout.

Watching the maneuvers of air units and warship formations off the coast of Taiwan is extremely fascinating. Anyone who has read the works of Sun Tzu understands that this is only a beautiful backdrop and that if you sit on your sandy shore long enough, one day an entire island will come to you.

Anyone who has read Unrestricted Warfare will not be surprised to see China eschew a direct and obvious response that would accomplish nothing but military escalation in favor of a more subtle asymmetric response that will cause severe strategic harm to its adversaries.