Syrian crisis and possible international repercussions

The military escalation in Syria, which involves Syrian, Russian and Turkish forces, is taking on a level from which it seems difficult to go back. The picture of the situation presents the Syrian north-western area, the one on the border with Turkey, as the scene of military clashes, which have taken on the appearance of a confrontation to be defined as a real war. The peculiarity of the confrontation is that military forces clashing on the ground are the expression of strongly attenuated regimes or democracies, which pursue their strategic interests beyond the possible internal and international conseguneze and regardless of the situation of civilians. If it is difficult to say that in a war the good exist, in this conflict it is sure that all are the bad. The hosts, the Syrians who always have the dictator Assad in command, intend to regain control of the areas that have been stolen by the Turks and to achieve this goal do not hesitate to bomb the same Syrian population that has the misfortune to live in those territories. The Syrian bombing attacks essential infrastructures such as hospitals and the extent of the victims is such as to be able to define what is taking place as a genocide. Syrian forces alone would not have the strength to counter Turkish forces, just as Assad could not have saved himself without Russian help; once again the dictator of Damascus is able to maneuver the conflict according to his needs, regardless of the consequences suffered by the population: the crimes committed by the Syrian president have now reached a level that allows him to be called an international criminal. Moscow’s responsibility appears evident, Russia wanted to play a leading role in the Middle Eastern chessboard to raise its relevance in the world and maintain its privileges in the Mediterranean, insured, at the beginning of the Syrian war, only from Damascus. Although Putin is an unscrupulous and unscrupulous politician, the impression is that Russia has remained as a subject engaged in the matter in spite of herself, that is, she has not been able to pull back at the right time, to arrive at the impossibility of withdrawing from the conflict. Turkey, which has a very complicated internal situation, both in politics and in the economy, has tried with international success to divert attention from its interior, also trying to combine the situation with the Kurdish question, to which, however, public opinion is very sensitive. Among the main supporters of Sunni terrorists, Ankara has tried to strengthen its positions on foreign territory by integrating them with regular troops, which, however, have encountered considerable difficulties precisely because of the presence of the Russians. The Syrian air raid, protected by the Russian anti-aircraft, caused more than thirty deaths among Turkish troops. The consequences are Ankara’s request for some intervention by the Atlantic Alliance, which will involve the United States directly or indirectly in the conflict; while on Europe the pressure is to open the borders to the exodus of the Syrians on Turkish soil to the old continent. For those who still refuse to be involved in the Syrian situation, this means the end of all hope: the consequences will be inevitable, for Trump, who following Obama’s example, wanted to ignore the issue, coming to abdicate the American role in the area (something that produced the advance of Russia and the protagonism of Iran) and for Europe, which will again see a mass of desperate press to their borders, again highlighting the racisms and sovereignties, which are so harmful to the life of the European Union itself. The lack of commitment in the diplomatic field these subjects, always limited to declarations and actions without results, turns against Washington and Brussels, which will be forced to try to find insufficient solutions. The Syrian war, from first local and then regional event, returns forcefully to the forefront of the international scenario and risks becoming the trigger for a potential global disorder, with critical consequences for stability. It seems that the time has come to deal with this responsibly and decisively by international organizations and those who should have the diplomatic ability to direct the crisis towards a solution of that type. Then the crimes of Assad, but also of Erdogan, will have to find justice.

The European Union will deploy a naval operation off the eastern Libyan coast

A new maritime operation by the European Union will once again concern the Libyan coast, but will concern control of the eastern part of the country. The aim will be to control the embargo on the potential supply of weapons. The European presence in the southern Mediterranean wants to reiterate the role of Brussels in the area, after new international players, Egypt, Russia and Turkey, have entered the Libyan country, effectively filling the political and military void created by the Union. Reaching the agreement with the various European countries was not easy: the fear of Italy, Austria and Hungary about a possible increase in illegal immigration across the sea, favored, in fact, by the presence of the ships of the European mission, represented an obstacle which was overcome with laborious negotiations. However, the vessels engaged in the control of the embargo cannot escape the law of the sea which provides for the rescue of shipwrecked people. This aspect inevitably affects the problem of the division of migrants between European countries: a question which, for the moment, remains open, because it has been postponed to a future meeting. Despite this obstacle, often the cause of profound frictions between member countries, the strategic importance of putting in place the new naval operation has overcome, at least for now, all the contrasts, precisely because it is considered essential to reaffirm the European commitment in the Mediterranean. However, precisely because it will only be a naval operation, the result can only be limited to supplies by sea, while control over land routes will not be possible due to the absence of a direct commitment on the ground. Certainly the control will also concern the airspace and the ships used will also be the military bases of the radars engaged in these operations. The result that is being sought is to isolate the rebel forces from the Tripoli government, recognized by the international community. At the same time, the ships engaged will also have the task of controlling human trafficking, probably by contrasting the sea activities of human traffickers. From a military point of view, the presence of warships of other international subjects could create the conditions, at least potential, for critical situations capable of creating a range of accidents, ranging from diplomatic to military confrontation. The possibility of these events occurring is far from remote, especially if we consider the attitude held by the military apparatus of Moscow and Ankara, present in the Mediterranean with military naval means and beyond. But precisely the increasing presence of military vessels from non-allied states of Europe has determined this operation which is also the natural evolution of the policy chosen for Libya. The refusal of a military commitment on the ground, also due to the different views of the most important members, due to particular interests placed above the general ones (see the behavior of Paris) led to the elaboration of a tactic that is the product of the lowest common denominator of the ideas of the European nations. The result obtained is that of pursuing the military embargo with the maritime blockade: a decision that seems hypocritical in the face of possible alternative solutions available to the contenders. How effective time will be to say it, of course, a non-positive result will only harm the prestige of the Union, which will however not be able to neglect diplomatic action. The combination of the two actions will say that Brussels is the current strength in the international arena.

USA: the Democratic Party is divided

The path of the Democratic Party towards the appointment of Trump’s rival in the next presidential election begins to take on a less nuanced profile. The elements that emerge are essentially two: the left seems to have found a strong candidate, Bernie Sanders, who has achieved favorable results with consistent numbers in the primaries played so far. Bernie Sanders has emerged as the strongest leftist candidate for posting to other members of this part of the Democratic Party. The second aspect that emerged from these first rounds of elections is the contrary situation of the moderates, where a candidate capable of representing the currents not moved to the left does not yet seem to emerge. In New Hampshire, moderates achieved results that placed their representatives behind Sanders with close votes. The figure exposes a fragmentation unable to bring out a strong candidate to oppose the left, even if the billionaire Michael Bloomberg has yet to compete. The former mayor of New York may be able to aggregate the moderate vote and present himself as an alternative to Sanders. However, the Democratic Party seems to have returned to the pre-voting situation that led to Trump’s election. The great difficulty of the Democrats is again that of not being able to find a candidate capable of synthesizing the often opposite tendencies that are within the party. Despite the unifying aspect of the aversion to Trump, this motivation may not be enough to bring the party left to the vote in the presence of a candidate who is too moderate or believed to be an expression of finance and strong powers, as happened for Clinton. Conversely, a too radical candidate may not get moderate grades because he is considered too distant from moderate progressives. The issue is not secondary. Trump’s defeat is far from obvious and a united Democratic Party, capable of overcoming deep differences within it, would be needed to achieve victory. If Biden, in theory, could approach the candidate with these characteristics, for now his results have been discouraging, even if nothing is decided his start was not the best. But, moreover, the potential electoral audiences of the left and moderates are very different: the radicals have the favor of young people, environmentalists, the poorest and also of the Latin community; the moderates have the favor of the middle class and of the black community, which calls for greater legality. Certainly the entry into play of a billionaire of Bloomberg’s caliber, despite being in some ways alien to the democratic party, can be a factor that can determine an impact that is difficult to predict on the outcome of the vote, starting with the large economic capacity of which the The former mayor will be able to arrange both in the primary phase and in a possible competition with the outgoing president. This aspect is much feared by conservatives and by Trump himself, who senses a possible invasion of the field within his electorate by Bloomberg. In this hypothesis, however, the competition would be brought back to the center and Trump would have more chances if he managed to keep as many old voters as possible, given that Bloomberg will surely have difficulty in intercepting the vote of the left if not with the only weapon of aversion to the President in office. For now, if the uncertainty is rightly still high, the most relevant element is the apparent disorganization of the Democratic Party, the same condition that occurred in the Conservative Party before Trump’s election.

Coronavirus as social and economic danger for China

The Chinese tactic at the beginning and even before the virus crown epidemic was to deny or minimize the risks of contagion, evidently due to an underestimation error also linked to the intention to preserve its economy. The rapid expansion, even on a global level, of the virus has forced Beijing to change its attitude, without, however, recognizing its responsibilities, which have been charged to the peripheral organs of power; which is impossible in a country where all information is controlled and centralized up to the highest hierarchies. Thinking that Xi Jinping was unaware of the risks is Beijing’s strategy: but it is hardly credible. For now, the political leaders of the regions where the contagion started to pay, who are sacrificed to protect central power. But this provokes the question regarding the effectiveness of the power of control on the peripheries: it is a rhetorical question, the central apparatus could not have known, thanks to the capillary control that extends over the whole territory, typical of each authoritarian power . Having said this, the decision to place the responsibility on peripheral managers, albeit of a high degree, manifests the need to exclude the idea that there are responsibilities of President Xi Jingping from a public opinion that contested the silences of the authorities. But this is only one aspect of the problem: there is a part of the Chinese company, the one that belongs to the productive executive class, which considers the measures taken against the virus to be excessive, because they are too penalizing for the country’s economy. What is likely to crack is the social pact between the upper middle class of the population and the political class, a pact founded on the distribution of wealth in exchange for distance from politics. Not that the power and position of the Chinese president are in danger, but the real risk of realizing a presence of dissent no longer appears as impossible, as the situation before the virus crown assured. The time factor for assessing this situation is essential, given that according to Chinese experts, the maximum value of the infection has not yet occurred and will arrive by the end of February. So China will continue to be in an emergency for at least two more months or more. In this period of time, the regime will have to manage a crisis with double significance: health and social, without neglecting the economic aspect and will not be able to do so with repeated punishments of peripheral officials. But also from an international point of view, the Chinese image appears blurred, the alarm of the World Health Organization has proclaimed the crown virus a worse threat than terrorism due to the more than a thousand deaths in a short time and for the most part high spreading capacity of the virus. According to official data, however, mortality would be four per thousand, which is not an irrelevant number, especially considering that it concerns countries mostly equipped to face these emergencies. What worries most is the possibility that the virus arrives in Africa, where health systems are not as solid as those of more advanced countries. As for the economy, it is now a certainty that the effects of the virus crown on the Chinese economy are reflecting on the global one and the world’s demand for Beijing is that China supports its productive fabric with specific measures. If these measures are necessary, a sort of moratorium, even limited in time, of the war of duties to give way to the global economy to limit the damages, also in consideration of the approaching shortage of products of the Chinese manufacturing industry towards abroad; the dependence of different industrial sectors, in every part of the globe, of Chinese products, risks decreasing the quantity of finished product in each industrial sector, with the consequent drop in production capable of causing a rise in prices and a consequent global inflation . If this were to occur, the economic backlash for Beijing would be a decrease in the country’s growth and, consequently, all over the world, with a compromised credibility for the productive, but above all political apparatus of China.

The US faces international isolation for its plan to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians

The debate on the American plan for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian question moves to the headquarters of the United Nations and the Security Council. The problem for Washington is not to see its plan, drawn up in the three years of Trump’s presidency, fail within the Security Council: this could mean for the White House a sort of international isolation on the eve of the presidential election. In fact, it must be specified that the diplomatic tactics of the Trump presidency produced a situation in which it favored the isolation that was wanted to be avoided. The need to try to close the age-old issue between Israelis and Palestinians was resolved too conditioned by the haste and pressure of Tel Aviv, whose government has been able to exploit the inclinations of the American president in charge, who, on the one hand, he wanted to secure the role of problem solver and, on the other hand, he focused on a profound difference in the relationship with Israel compared to his predecessor. The result was an unbalanced proposal in favor of Israel, which the Palestinians rejected with a result of 94% against. One of the weak points of the American plan is also that it has assigned itself the role of sole mediator between the two parties, a not at all impartial mediator, who, in fact, has chosen to favor the Israeli state, allowing a further reduction of the Palestinian territory , compared to the decrease already made in 1967. Also the will to want to make Israeli colonies legal, the product of an arbitrary removal of Palestinian soil is seen as a legal defect that prevents any development of the negotiation and that has caused the withdrawal of Palestinians from any negotiation. The United States has made an unforgivable mistake in diplomacy, wanting to take on the role of partial arbiters, which discredits them internationally and makes them responsible for the almost certain deterioration of the current situation. The USA probably realized the danger of isolation, because they exerted a very strong pressure on several international delegations but without obtaining the desired result, thus signaling an intrinsic weakness to their diplomatic action, which also denotes a dose of amateurism, scarce foresight and little knowledge of diplomatic dynamics. The Arab League has adopted a resolution, approved by all 22 members that rejects the American plan on the basis of the concept that does not meet the requirements regarding the minimum rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people, effectively closing the possibility of carrying out the project of Washington. Palestinian President Abu Abbas said that a peace imposed with these criteria is a peace that cannot be lasting and this reflection actually provides for a resumption of large-scale hostilities if Israel and the USA persist in pursuing Trump’s plan by force. An opinion shared by the joint declaration of four members of the Security Council, Belgium, Estonia, France and Germany, which states that any annexation would undermine the prospects of a just, lasting and global peace. By contrast, Israel has accused the Palestinian president of not being pragmatic because he is not interested in resolving the conflict. Tel Aviv, therefore, continues on its unbalanced policy in its favor, not presenting a real will to pacify the Palestinian population.

The European Union against Trump’s plan for Israel and Palestine

Despite the good Israeli impressions, due to the European Union’s foreign policy leadership, and to Trump’s own hopes, the US plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue has been rejected by Brussels. In addition, the declaration of the new High Representative for the Union’s foreign policy expresses serious concern about Tel Aviv’s willingness to continue with the unilateral policy of settlements in the West Bank. Apart from the dissatisfaction with the negative opinion on the plan elaborated by Washington, in Israel the even more relevant concern is for the position taken by the new head of EU diplomacy, which seemed to be more favorable to the Jewish state than its predecessor, but which instead he expressed himself with very harsh tones on Israeli settlement policy and that, consequently, does not promise substantial changes in relations between Brussels and Tel Aviv, despite Israel’s hope that it would have been closer to the Union. In Israel it was found that the declarations of the European High Representative were immediately adverse for Tel Aviv and also the circumstance of the diplomatic trip to Iran, to underline the European commitment to attempt a solution to the issues of the nuclear agreement, was judged very negatively, especially for the development of future relationships. The judgment on the feasibility of the American President’s proposal is highly critical and in any case will be assessed on the European position, repeatedly confirmed, which contemplates the coexistence of the two states. Legally, this position refers to the conclusions of the Council of the Union, relating to July 2014, which, in turn, refer to the borders established in 1967. It is understood that on this basis, which appears unchangeable, the position of Brussels is very clear and in contrast with what is claimed by Tel Aivi and Washington. The support for the existence of two independent states by the Union appears to be in contrast with Trump’s plan, which is clearly unbalanced in favor of Israel. The numbers in Trump’s plan reveal this imbalance, given that it provides for an exchange of territories to allow the annexation of the colonies present to Israel, but with a redistribution that would cause the Palestinians to reduce their original space to only eleven percent of the territory provided for in the 1967 agreements, which already reduced it by twenty-two percent. According to the European Union, precisely on the basis of these data, Trump’s solution would be detrimental to international law, bringing the tension between the two sides to high levels. Brussels argues for a negotiation between Israel and Palestine, which includes not only the issue of the West Bank, but which also relates to the capital and refugees. On the other hand, it was the Palestinians themselves who rejected Trump’s plan, cutting diplomatic ties with Israel and the United States, and the Arab League also expressed its opposition. However, some Arab countries, Washington allies and who have approached Israel for common interests against Iran, have asked the Palestinians to carefully evaluate the American proposal, recording a novelty on the Arab world’s attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian question and showing how Palestinians are now expendable in favor of particular convenience. In this context, the confirmation of the Union’s position denotes an appreciable consistency because in favor of international law, which will have to be confirmed by concrete action in the diplomatic direction, that is, with greater activism on the international scene through a first-person commitment.

The European Union will apply stricter accession procedures

The French intentions, relating to the introduction of stricter criteria for admission to the European Union, seem to have been accepted by the European Commission. Paris’s concerns about the lack of sufficient criteria to guarantee the sharing of the founding ideals of a united Europe are widely shared and demonstrable by the cases of those countries that joined the Union only for economic convenience, without sharing its plan and , above all, the charges. If the thought goes to the period between 2004 and 2011, with the increase of the members of the Union from 15 to 28, we must also remember the history of the United Kingdom, which during its stay enjoyed conditions far more favorable than the others members and, despite this, did not find it convenient to remain within the Union, causing a grueling negotiation still far from being concluded. Certainly the countries that most provoked Frnacese mistrust, but not only, are those of the so-called Visegrad pact, nations that belonged to the Soviet bloc and that have proved Eurosceptic and not inclined to democratic values. These countries are characterized by a large amount of funding, which often constitutes the major item in their budgets, which does not correspond to a desire to take on the burdens on other states, such as the issue of migratory redistribution, and do not present standards of guarantee of civil and democratic rights sufficient to justify their presence in Brussels. What is expected to be approved is stricter legislation towards countries applying for admission to the Union, with the possibility of blocking and suspending negotiations, without a real guarantee of the presence of a reform process in accordance with the requirements required by Brussels. . Even the financial aid provided before accession can be stopped, without, however, affecting the share destined for civil society. In concrete terms, the negotiations for the accession of North Macedonia and Albania can currently be interrupted. The immediate objective, also recognized by the European Commission, is to tighten up the accession process of the Balkan countries, which still do not present adequate guarantees on the application and protection of civil and political rights. Brussels’ request is likely to focus precisely on respect for the fundamental values of the Union, through a more guaranteed reform of the democratic system, but also on the security of market economic systems that are sustainable for the population and the alignment with foreign policy Community. It is understandable that this is a message for the Eurosceptic states and also for the critical movements with the Union, which have developed in a sovereign sense precisely to counter the inadvertence of European standards. The French attitude is shareable in terms of the contrast towards the states that compress civil rights within them, but it should be integrated with rules and actions in favor of the economic rights of the European peoples, too often crushed by budgetary constraints, which have provoked a reduction in the qualitative conditions of life of European citizens, with the perception, too often become certainty, of a shift in incomes in favor of finances and the wealthier classes, thanks to the increase in inequality and the absence of redistributive policies. Making accession to Europe more difficult is only the first step of a process that must be completed with the possibility of excluding states that do not accept the charges and do not guarantee the application of fundamental rights, but which must also include a change of attitude and policy of the European Commission itself. Without these steps, the reform wanted by Paris appears incomplete and cannot succeed as it wants to find.

The confrontation between Syria and Turkey risks a dangerous enlargement

The Syrian conflict, this time between Damascus and Ankara, returns to the center of the international scenario. The confrontation was between the regular armies of the two countries, within the formally Syrian province, where there is still a concentration of Al Qaeda militias. The action of the armed forces of Assad would have caused the death of four Turkish soldiers and about nine injured, but, above all, it caused the reprisal of the military aviation of Ankara against about forty Syrian emplacements, causing at least six deaths among the Syrian officers , although the Turkish president has claimed that between 30 and 35 soldiers died in retaliation. The scene of the clash is the Syrian north-western region on the border of Turkey, where the presence of Al Qaeda and other paramilitary allies of Ankara is still strong. Turkey’s interest is to control areas on its border to prevent a Kurdish state; with the presence of the Russian military it had become necessary to establish a coexistence between the Moscow and Ankara army, which had allowed the former to maintain some military positions in the region. Russia is an ally of Damascus and the function of these positions was precisely to carry out a check on behalf of Assad in the region. There were no incidents between Turks and Russians, but this coexistence seems to have been compromised by the activity of the Syrian army, which has as its objective the reconquest of the territory and its meeting, even formal, in the Syrian state. Syrian military forces have already conquered the second largest city in the region and are also trying to take an important road node, strategic for communications. Turkey, to counter Damascus, has sent reinforcements to counter Assad and Erdogan has communicated with Russian commands, stating that Moscow forces are not among the targets, however the relationship between the two countries risks becoming irrecoverable; This is undoubtedly the strategy of the Damascus dictator, who seeks to break the pacts between the Russians and the Turks, on the strength of his link with Putin, to bring Russia’s military and international weight to openly take sides against Turkey. Although not openly declared, it is clear that a war is underway between Syria and Turkey, both for the military confrontation and for the presence of foreign troops on the territory of a sovereign state. However, the greatest danger remains the possible involvement of Russia, which considers its presence in Syria and Assad’s permanence in power, a fundamental objective for its foreign policy. An armed conflict between Russia and the only Muslim country of the Atlantic Alliance is not, however, an eventuality appreciated by the head of the Kremlin: despite the cooling of relations between Ankara and Brussels and between Ankara and Washington, a Turkish call could bring back into play the US on Syrian soil, also with a view to a more effective contrast to Iranian politics in the region. This prediction may seem risky, especially with the upcoming election campaign, but Trump may want to turn in his favor a renewed feeling of American greatness to invest in the presidential competition. On the other hand, Putin would have much to lose in a potential conflict, which would also help Erdogan to strengthen his position in the liking of his compatriots, who have proven sensitive to Ankara’s expansionism. For the Kremlin, the diplomatic solution is the best way, but the biggest problem seems to be to contain the ally Assad, who wants to take advantage of the moment to recover the lost territories. The head of the Syrian government has shown great skill by managing to exploit every possible opportunity to his advantage and managing to remain in his place against all odds. Assad now plays a game once again in an unscrupulous way and on the verge of defeat, which would be irremediable, looking for a gamble that can prove to be very dangerous: that of antagonizing Putin. But perhaps it is a strategy well combined between the two with Iranian support.

The United Nations establishes the right of climate migrants

The United Nations Human Rights Committee stressed that the issue of climate migration has a legal relevance that urges world governments to consider the climate emergency as a legal factor capable of becoming the cause of a possible granting of asylum to these specific migrants. This is a considerable innovation within international law, because it takes note of the consequences of climate change on problems relating to the environment and the causes that pose a danger to people’s lives. Implicitly it is the legal recognition for the category of climate refugees, that is those who, due to natural events caused, for example by global warming, see the soil available to them to be reduced, as for the effects of rising sea waters, with the consequence of housing difficulties, problems with crops and water supply. The classification of the harmful consequences of the cliamtic change is divided substantially into two types: the damage due to prolonged effects over time, such as the increase in the saline percentage of the soils, the sea rise or desertification and the damage due to sudden events and not as expected as floods. It is understood how these natural disasters can force even large parts of the population to cross national borders to find shelter in other nations. According to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the absence of national and international policies aimed at countering the effects of climate change justifies the right of climate migrants not to be rejected. If this pronouncement, in some ways revolutionary, even if it is basically only an acknowledgment of a claimed problem, brings a novelty in international law, it simultaneously opens a wide range of exceptions and objections, on which the national legislators will certainly try to regulate their systems. One of the first circumstances to be resolved are the methods and times of reception, given that, at least in certain cases, the restoration of the conditions prior to the disastrous events can be assumed. It is more difficult to manage situations where irremediable conditions occur, in these cases forms of preventive agreements between states would be desirable, capable of managing migratory phenomena, through a preordained location and with a reception not limited to first aid, but marked by a real and definitive integration by the host countries. Climate issues undoubtedly have a direct effect on food resources and the availability of drinking water, inextricably linked to famines, the impossibility of irrigation and therefore of agricultural and livestock production, up to compromising normal hygiene conditions and therefore the cause of widespread diseases. The effects of climate change are certainly responsible for these indirect cases of migratory phenomena, which do not fall directly into the two climatic cases drawn up by the Human Rights Committee. However, it does not seem possible to separate, from the point of gravity and the causes that generate the phenomenon, climate migrants from migrants for lack of food and water; therefore even for those who are forced to abandon their countries due to the chronic absence of food resources, a preventive solution should be designed, through international agreements to be signed by individual states, perhaps with a coordination of the United Nations. But in times of national sovereignties and selfishness this appears very difficult, even if the contingent situation already appears complicated, no effort is noted to prevent the consequences of climate change, which is indeed denied, and without changes in attitude the migratory pressure is destined to accentuate. The importance of the decision of the human rights committee does not solve the practical problem of reception or even that of climate change due to global warming, but opens a discussion on the legitimacy of rejecting migrants who become migrants for causes external to them and, often , due precisely to the countries that reject them.

Beijing defeated Taiwan

With a participation of over 75%, the highest since 2008, the elections in Taiwan confirmed all the forecasts in favor of the candidate Tsai Ing-wen, who won with over 57% of the votes and reached the majority also in the parliament. The winner built her election campaign against Chinese interference and in favor of Taiwan’s independence from Beijing. This electoral program, however, in form has never been made explicit, in order not to irritate China too much, but has maintained a de facto ambiguous attitude in favor of the status quo: maintaining independence without officially declaring it. If this is the form, the actual substance presented to the voters is for the maintenance of detachment from Beijing, without providing for bankruptcy solutions such as that of Hong Kong, summarized in the never implemented program: “one state two systems”. The majority of Taiwanese voters and above all young people understood this vote as a real referendum for the maintenance of democratic values in the country and against the proposal for a reconciliation with China as proposed by the nationalist party. This election result has many causes, of which the desire to preserve autonomy and democracy represent only internal ones. For external reasons, it is necessary to analyze the Chinese behavior both in the motherland and in Hong Kong and, above all, towards Taiwan itself. To maintain the line set by Xi Jingping, Beijing has repeatedly warned Taiwan not to pursue independence and has repeatedly stressed that the island belongs to China as the country’s territorial continuity. The repressions in Hong Kong close to the vote in Taiwan have also contributed to shifting the consensus towards those who have shown themselves in favor of maintaining democratic values. What is surprising is the Chinese approach which is anything but pragmatic and which appears totally unsuitable for exercising the role of great power. Although it is true that Beijing considers entities that do not recognize themselves in Chinese legislation as Chinese territory, China’s behavior has shown a conduct censored by a large part of the world public opinion and the capacity for relations with foreign countries has been ensured only by the great financial liquidity available. Taiwan’s vote, in reality, seems to frighten Beijing, which fears other demonstrations in Hong Kong and especially in the interior of the Chinese country, already in difficulty due to the repression against Muslims and dissidents. In fact, the intensity of the reaction, carried out with a predictable pattern, because it places the responsibility for the election result on foreign forces, in particular the United States, indicates a disorientation and the absence of arguments capable of justifying the Chinese attitude. On the practical side, China is exerting pressure on Taiwan with threats to resort to the role of force to safeguard territorial integrity also through exercises by the Chinese navy in the sea strait that divides mainland China from Taiwan. From a diplomatic point of view, the victory of the Taiwanese independence activists means that a potentially dangerous scenario for the area’s balance is confirmed: the United States could accelerate ties with Taipei and increase military supplies, which have already existed. These supplies, although substantial, are considered insufficient against a potential attack by Beijing; the greatest risk is that the US wants to set up an American base in an area that Beijing considers to be its property. This could also be part of Washington’s denial of Washington’s official recognition of the Chinese question, which condenses into the definition of a single China. From a Chinese containment perspective, Taiwan could guarantee a strategic factor of absolute importance for the United States, both from a military and a commercial point of view; the point is how advantageous it will be to continue on this path, given Beijing’s attitude of total intransigence. For China, however, the management of internal politics is perhaps becoming more difficult than the management of international politics, precisely because it does not appear equipped to manage dissent and this can produce inevitable repercussions at a diplomatic and even commercial level.