China’s military exercises in Taiwan threaten global commerce

(CNN Business) — Los ejercicios militares de China con fuego real alredor de Taiwan amenazan con interruptir el commerce y los viajes en el east de Asia, al obligar a las embarcaciones a deviarse de una de las rutas fluviales más transitadas del mundo y al pressar even more las ya tensas global supply chains.

This Thursday, China began its training with the participation of the Navy, the Air Force and other military bodies in the sea and the aerial space that surrounds Taiwan. These exercises ––sin precedents in number–– are a direct demonstration of force in response to the visit of Nancy Pelosi, president of the House of Representatives of the United States, a la isla autónoma. Un viaje contra el cual Beijing advirtió en repetidas ocasions.

The Ministerio de Defensa de China published this Tuesday a map of six zones around the island, where it was informed that they would realize aerial and maritime exercises, as well as long-range real fire training that they will extend until Sunday. En ese sentido, se advirtió a los barcos y aviones que deben mantenerse fuera de esas áreas durante los simulacros militares.

Por su parte, Taiwan pointed out that estos ejercicios equivalen a un “bloqueo marítimo y aério”, además de violar “las aguas territoriales de Taiwan y su zona contigua”.

También amenazan con alterar los flujos commerciales en una de las rutas de navegación más concurridas del mundo.

The importance of the Taiwan Strait and the pulse of China

The Strait of Taiwan, a 177-kilometer-wide artery that separates the island of Taiwan and continental Asia, is a key commercial route for ships that transport goods between the main economies of Northeast Asia, such as China, Japan and South Korea. , y el resto del mundo.

VesselsValue, a maritime consultancy with headquarters in London, said that there are currently 256 container ships and other vessels in Taiwan’s territorial waters. He added that he estimated that another 60 arrived between este jueves and el domingo, just when they realized military exercises.

Tensión entre China y Taiwan por Pelosi 1:10

“There is the possibility of a substantial disruption in the region’s commerce,” said Peter Williams, commercial flow analyst at VesselsValue.

Cerrar las rutas comerciales alrededor de Taiwan, aunque sea de manera temporal, “despierta preoccupaciones sobre si China podría volver a hacerlo con éxito. Y también sobre lo que esto podría significa, no solo para el commerce, los viajes y los patrones económicos a futuro , sino para los escenarios potentially defensive y de seguridad”, pointed out Nick Marro, global business analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Las repercussiones a futuro de los ejercicios de China cerca de Taiwan

Aún no está claro cual será el impacto largo plazo. Sin embargo, los transportistas anticipan retrasos due a cambios de ruta, posibles pérdidas de ventas y majores costs para los trabajadores que deben hacer más horas.

Portacontenedores, petroleros y graneleros que actualmente se encuentra en aguas territoriales de Taiwan.

The global supply chains suffered the blows of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which interrupted the flow of goods and triggered inflation in many parts of the world.

Any conflict in Taiwan, which dominates the semiconductor industry, could exacerbate the global shortage of computer chips. Just, componentes vitales para practically todos los dispositivos electronicos modernos.

Taiwan tiene siete puertos principales. The port of Kaohsiung, located on the southwest coast, is the largest in Taiwan and the fifteenth largest in the world, according to the World Maritime Transport Council.

La Oficina Marítima y Portuaria de Taiwan issued three notices this Wednesday, in which they solicited boats that use alternative routes to ports in the cities of Keelung, Taipei, Kaohsiung and others.

Changes in international flight routes

In addition, Taiwan diverted 18 international flight routes following negotiations with Japan and the Philippines. Approximately 300 flights will be affected due to route changes, informed this Wednesday the Minister of Transportation of Taiwan, Wang Kwo-tsai.

“Las repercusiones no han terminado: apenas comienzan”, advirtió Clifford Bennett, economist en jefe de ACY Securities, una firma de corretaje australiana.

“Será mucho peor cualquier retraso económico en la relación entre Taiwan y China como resulta de la visita de Pelosi”, he added.

China hit Taiwan with some commercial restrictions since Wednesday. Among them, the suspension of some imports of fruits and fish from Taiwan and natural exports to the island.

Todo el evento puede “continuar resonando y causar más daño durante meses, incluso años, tanto a las relaciones de Taiwan como de Estados Unidos con mainland China,” said Bennett.

Wayne Chang, Shawn Deng, Brad Lendon and Hannah Ritchie, todos de CNN, contributed to this report.

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