Could what Churchill describes in his book ‘While England Slept’ about what happened in the years before World War II, be repeated with us and China?
Yes, it can happen. It is very likely that while our attention is turned to Russia, the real danger will come from China.
The latest glaring example:
China has sternly warned America not to dare to allow Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the third-highest figure in the U.S. government’s hierarchy, to visit Taiwan. Can you imagine that?
Why? Because China considers Taiwan an integral part of its sovereign territory, which it threatens to annex even by force.
And judging by her series of defiant and aggressive moves, it leaves no room for doubt that she really intends to do it.
But this will bring China, as a number of American presidents have stated, into a head-on collision with the United States.
The U.S. Pentagon is taking the threat against Pelosi seriously and is making preparations to protect her.
They will create a series of ‘rings of protection’ both while she is in the air and during the time she is on the ground.
The last time a Speaker of the House visited Taiwan was 25 years ago.
Pelosi was originally scheduled to visit there in April, but she postponed the trip.
If she postpones it, as it appears she will, a second time – President Biden said “I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now” – then the United States’ message to China will be clear: We will let you have Taiwan. Just make sure to annex it in a considerate way.
What else could the message be if an American official is not allowed to visit Taiwan?
In the meantime, it appears that Russia, in the end, turned out to have military capabilities far below what it wanted to present to the world. After so many months of war it faces great difficulty fulfilling even one part of its objectives against a minor military power like Ukraine.
However, in the event of a U.S.-China conflict, which seems increasingly likely, Russia will ally with China, creating a second front for America.
The global situation seems to be in such turmoil because American power, the magic wand that maintained international order for so long, seems to be on the decline.
And, conversely, China gives every impression of being the rising world power.
A classic case of two forces colliding.
Can a military conflict be avoided? Yes, as long as the current balance of power between them does not seem likely to be tipped.
That is why Thucydides is always relevant.