“In Italy, few understand the importance that Taiwan plays in the struggle between the United States and China for leadership in the twenty-first century. However, this island, which is only slightly larger than Sicily, has a population of only twenty-three million, produces the most advanced microchips in the world, and is surrounded by waters through which goods worth thousands of billions of dollars pass every year, could, Despite herself, she does it. , Spark World War III: The Perfect Storm has the eye of the storm here“So says the journalist Claudio PagliaraIn his last book: The Perfect Storm – USA and China are on the brink of World War III In its 288 pages, from which it is difficult to separate itself, Beyemi explains how trade tensions, rancor, threats in the press and attempts to establish new alliances underway in the international arena constitute a scenario that is certainly not peaceful, which also raises important questions. Are we heading towards a global escalation? Moreover, who will rule the world in the coming years? The author himself gives an answer in our interview.
His book seems like a prophetic book, especially now given the global situation and the alignments of different countries. What are the things that should raise concerns for those who are not political analysts?
“The world’s attention is rightly focused on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But China’s military intimidation of Taiwan has intensified recently. On November 1, in just 24 hours, 43 Chinese fighter planes took off toward Taiwan and then returned to their base. “It’s worrying.” New daily peak. The ongoing attack simulation is exhausting the island’s defense system and undermining the will of its 23 million residents to reject the reunification sought by Beijing. The Taiwanese say, by a large majority, 72 percent, that they are prepared to fight to defend the freedoms they enjoy and which 1.4 billion Chinese are denied.”
The book poses a fundamental question: who will lead the world in the coming years. America looks a bit like a giant with sandy feet, but Europe is now an ancient continent, and not just on paper. At this point, who do you think?
“It has already been 23 years of what some analysts have hastily described as the Chinese century, and yet the United States still maintains world leadership, albeit in a more divided geopolitical context than in the past. I firmly believe that the ongoing conflict between authoritarian regimes will see Democracies prevail over the latter, because, despite all their contradictions (and the American attack on January 6, 2021, the attack on Congress, passed the last, most difficult test) by their nature they tend to be inclusive and mobilize all the forces of society, while authoritarian regimes put pressure from above on decisions Which are taken by leaders alone in command, who inevitably make critical mistakes. Two examples I cover in The Perfect Storm: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which was intended to distance NATO from the European Union. The borders instead had the opposite effect, and the Chinese administration To the pandemic, through the unsustainable Zero Covid policy, which produced a near popular rebellion, a “white paper” rebellion, and forced the authorities to open the country without proper vaccination protection.”
Unlike in the past, are wars currently breaking out over land issues, or is this just an excuse to hide economic interests?
“War can break out for territorial, economic or ideological reasons, or, more often, a combination of these reasons. In the case of Hamas, the motivation is primarily religious: not accepting that the land of Islam – according to an extremist interpretation of the Qur’an – can apply it.” “Infidels.” Putin and Xi instead appear to be influenced by that desire for “revolutionary immortality” that psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton described in a 1969 article on Mao Zedong. They believe that achieving immortality is necessary. The name should be written in capital letters in history books, which is why Vladimir Putin dreams of reviving the Soviet Union, and Xi Jinping seeks a “renaissance” of China, that is, a return to its heyday, the Qing Empire, when “the Middle East saw the empire consider itself the center of the world.”
Could an island no larger than Sicily, such as Taiwan, ignite World War III?
“Taiwan enjoys a strategic geopolitical position, controls trade routes through which trillions of goods pass and produces 92% of the world’s most advanced microchips, the true black gold of the 21st century. If the United States proves unable to defend Taiwan from and in the event of an invasion China’s potential, Japan and South Korea will also slide inexorably into Beijing’s orbit. That is why, over two decades, the Pentagon has gradually transferred weapons and men from the Middle East to the Far East. This is where the decisive battle for control of China unfolds. Playing planetary leadership.”
The Pope says that a world war is already underway. In fact, looking back at history in the First and Second World Wars, we find ourselves in a global conflict caused by various outbreaks, somewhat similar to what is happening now… In your opinion, are we already witnessing a Third World War?
“The Ukrainians have been at war for nearly two years. The conflict between Israel and Hamas threatens to spread like wildfire. China could believe this is the best time to invade Taiwan, betting that the United States, already committed to helping Ukraine and Israel,” they are unable “We must hurry to save the island. There is a perfect storm brewing in the skies of the planet. But it can still be prevented if the West remains united in defense of the democratic values that make up its soul.” So far it has done so by helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia. The United States should strengthen Taiwan’s defense capabilities, as it is already partly doing. Europe is sending clear signals to Beijing that using force to change the status quo on the island would be a threat. The same tough sanctions imposed on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine cost it. Perhaps only through adequate deterrence will we be able to avoid the worst.
Biden’s presidency is subject to much criticism, and it is said that he is a weak president and too old to have the required strong hand. How do you see the situation?
“This is a country that has elected presidents in their 40s. Recasting the 2020 presidential duel in 2024 would not be healthy for the image of the United States in the world, given the legal problems surrounding Donald Trump and Joe’s advanced age. Biden: Polls clearly indicate that voters They prefer new faces. One year in politics is a long time. Surprises are still possible.
In the book you also tell real life stories: where did you start and what did they tell you?
“A reporter’s job is to open the windows and let readers look in. And that’s what I’ve done throughout my career as a correspondent for RAI in Paris, Jerusalem, Beijing and now New York. Case in point. In my book I tell my friends ‘The first shock with New York, after five and a half years in China.’ I took the subway and seemed to have plunged into the past. Beijing wins the challenge of modernity. But then I find myself amazed that this meeting on Fifth Avenue could be held on immigration without heavy-handed police intervention. The mind turns to Tiananmen Square, where opposition demonstrations are unimaginable today. Two stories from everyday life that give rise to deep reflection: The challenge between the United States and China is not only about the economic aspect, but above all about values.
You said that the outbreak of the Ukrainian war is part of a larger project, so I ask you: How do you think the current Israeli-Palestinian war, or rather the conflict between Hamas and Israel, relates to what you said in your book?
“Hamas and Iran, which supports it, want to destroy Israel, the West’s democratic bastion in the Middle East. It is certainly not a coincidence that Russia and China vetoed the resolution presented by the United States in the Security Council condemning genocide.” What Hamas, Russia and China have in common, among all else, is a desire to destroy neighboring democracies – Hamas wants to wipe out Israel, Russia, Ukraine, China and Taiwan. The glue is the shared desire to weaken American leadership.”
What role does Italy play, or rather can it play given that dependence on China has now become toxic for the world?
“Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has done well to make clear that by the end of the year Italy will not renew the memorandum on the Silk Road. Four years ago, the government made a strategic gift to China, marking the first (and only) G7 country to join Xi Jinping’s geopolitical project, worrying The United States and the European Union, even without gaining an economic advantage. In recent years, the gap between exports of Italian goods to China and imports of Chinese goods to Italy has narrowed from a ratio of one in two to a ratio of one in three. As I explain in my book, Xi Jinping has stopped “The process of economic reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping. The Chinese market has become more difficult for foreign companies. There is still opportunity, but for a few well-armored companies.”
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”