World trade threatened by Chinese military exercises around Taiwan

Dozens of ships forced to avoid the Taiwan Strait, used by almost half of the world's container ships as well as 88 per cent of the largest ships. Air traffic has also been affected. Japan reported that four missiles fired yesterday by China flew over the Taiwanese capital.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Chinese military exercises around Taiwan are disrupting global trade, as many experts had predicted.

The drills, which began yesterday in response to the recent visit to the Taiwanese capital by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi effectively shut down the Taiwan Strait.

To avoid crossing the areas of operation set out by the Chinese government, scores of ships of different types changed course and sailed east of Taiwan.

The greater distance and higher insurance premiums imposed by a crisis will boost shipping costs, fuelling global inflation. The same goes for air traffic.

In the first seven months of the year, almost half of the world's container ships transited through the Taiwan Strait, 88 per cent for the largest vessels, Bloomberg reports.

Chinese interests too are threatened by the disruption of sea routes since Chinese exports rely heavily on the same stretch of sea to get their goods to the United States and Europe.

Some observers note that this is just a taste of things to come for the global supply chains in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The scenario is potentially worse than what the war in Ukraine and China’s repeated COVID-19 lockdowns.

China’s military operations near Taiwan continue today at an intense pace. Dozens of Chinese ships and warplanes have crossed the midline that informally divides the strait between Taiwan and mainland China.

In all likelihood, China’s rulers want to change the status quo that has prevailed in recent decades to assert that the Taiwan Strait is within China and not an international waterway.

Meanwhile, Japan claims that four of the five ballistic missiles China fired yesterday into Japan's exclusive economic zone flew over Taiwan.

This would be the first time this has happened, but China’s Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the Japanese statement.