From time to time, there are “leaks” and comments from Chinese experts that some kind of “deadline” still exists, for example, 2027 is the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army of China
Against the backdrop of an already unfavourable situation, China is also facing a sharp intensification of military, military-technical and political ties between the United States and Taiwan. For example, in 2020, the volume of contracts for the export of American weapons to Taiwan exceeded $5.1 billion
. From 2010 to the beginning of 2021, deliveries worth $23 billion were announced
. Supply volumes could spike if the US congress passes the Lend-Lease Bill for Taiwan, which is currently under discussion
The Trump administration began, (and Biden continued) the practice of gradually increasing the level of contacts between officials within the two countries. An important event was the first meeting since 1979 of US national security adviser John Bolton with his Taiwanese counterpart David Lee in 2019. The practice of US military visits to the island to participate in the combat training of Taiwanese colleagues has intensified.
The American arguments: that Pelosi made the visit on her own, almost contradictng the White House and that therefore the visit does not mean a change in policy, have had no effect on the Chinese — they simply do not believe them. The sharp deterioration in relations is evidenced by the fact that Chinese leader Xi Jinping made direct threats to the United States during a telephone conversation with US President Joseph Biden on July 28, four days before Pelosi’s visit. This is the only way to interpret the phrase uttered by the Chinese leader: "if you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned. Such harsh expressions during contacts at the highest level are extremely unusual for the Chinese.
Thus, from the point of view of the PRC, an extremely alarming, unbearable situation has developed on the Taiwan issue: there is a simultaneous increase in separatist sentiments inside the island, an increase of American military assistance to the island, and an accelerated erosion of the One China policy by the United States. The answer was the mobilisation of the resources of the Chinese state to resolve the Taiwan issue in a short time period, if necessary, with the use of force.
At the moment, it seems that large-scale exercises of the PRC armed forces around the island with violations of the existing informal lines of demarcation (the median line in the Taiwan Strait) are likely to become almost permanent. The PRC will build up economic pressure on Taiwan, introducing more and more formal and informal sanctions against the island’s economy, which is very vulnerable to them. Official sanctions have been imposed on Nancy Pelosi and her family, and dialogue with the United States has been suspended on a wide range of issues. China’s attention to the positions of other countries regarding the Taiwan problem has grown.
It is likely that serious military and economic pressure on the island will continue for a long time. We can talk about the beginning of another (fourth) security crisis in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese will measure pressure against trends in Taiwanese politics and US activity in the region. If the leadership of the PRC comes to the conclusion that time has started to work against it, due to the further rapid deterioration of the political situation on the island and the acceleration of the growth of American military supplies, then the demonstrative military exercises are likely to develop into a real military intervention to ensure the reunification of the island with the mainland by force.