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Balancing acts

Occurrences in Afghanistan and Taiwan demand vigilance

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Business Standard Editorial Comment | Nancy Pelosi | US China

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 

The two headline-grabbing developments involving the United States this week have indirect but significant implications for India. The first is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and the second is the killing of Osama Bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Kabul. Both events have a bearing on India’s borders in the north and Northeast. China’s immediate response to Ms Pelosi’s provocative and high-profile visit to Taipei City has been to launch three days of military drills around Taiwan, using live ammunition. Beijing’s aggressive posture may have been expected in defence of territorial claims, to which it is particularly sensitive, given the manifest reality of Taiwan’s existence as an independent country with political systems that differ widely from China’s. Beyond a complex historical context, President Xi Jinping’s immediate political compulsions also demand a more muscular response. The Chinese Communist Party’s all-important 20th Congress, which dictates changes in the party’s constitution and has also been the venue for leadership changes in the past, is due later this year.

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First Published: Thu, August 04 2022. 22:40 IST
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