Tsai Ing-wen hasn't officially taken office as Taiwan's president yet, so these rather....aggressive naval exercises can't be attributed to her....but I'm sure the Obama Regime will do so anyway:
Taiwan carried out military drills Wednesday with naval chiefs assuring residents the island is safe, as concerns grow that tensions will escalate with [Red] China after recent presidential elections.
The drills were the first since Tsai Ing-wen of the China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) swept to victory in the elections earlier this month.
She ousted the ruling Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), bringing to an end eight years of unprecedented [appeasement of Red] China.
On Wednesday, the Taiwanese navy displayed eight warships and fired flares from a missile corvette during an exercise in waters off Tsoying in southern Taiwan, home to the island’s naval headquarters.
They also scrambled F-16 Falcon fighters, landed amphibious forces on Kinmen Island, an entire five miles off the ChiComm coast - swimming distance, literally - and Taiwan's outgoing president, Ma Ying-jeou, is planning an official visit to another "disputed" Taiwanese possession in the South China Sea, Itu Aba.
Pre-Obama, this would all have been to the good. Beijing would have bitched and moaned, but they ultimately wouldn't have risked a confrontation with the U.S. to swat down, or invade and conquer outright, the Taiwanese. And the latter could have conducted these military exercises secure and confident in that support.
But now? The ChiComms don't fear us, and the recent Taiwanese election amply demonstrates that they have written us off as an ally and patron and are charting their own unilateral foreign policy, so we don't have much, if any, influence with and over Taipei, either. And yet if a confrontation develops between the two Chinas, the U.S. will still get dragged into it, involuntarily and not on our initiative, schedule, or terms. It's the worst of all worlds: We have no superpower influence or capabilities, but we still have the superpower reputation and animus. We are literally the "pitiful, helpless giant" of President Nixon's one-time depiction.
And this is just one flashpoint of many over which we have just as little control.
Gosh, I love "smart power".