The opinion of Paulo Rego, Plataforma Macau and Global Media administrator.
Xi Jinping strokes the nationalist ego and demands the integration of Taiwan, with the same degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and Macau. It is not enough anymore... At this point, perhaps neither the army nor foreign policy will convince a island which is fighting for independence. In fact, the greater the threat, the more distrust grows. Consensus reunification is perhaps possible, but only with a liberal China that respects Taipei. Beijing knows this, thus this muscled discourse serves another purpose: the military and the PC conservative wing. Internal tension is strong.. and if the economic crisis goes full force, it threatens the whole political horizon, including the controversial extension of the presidential mandate.
The military narrative also sets off the international alarm. The global leadership, sold in Maoist tone, added to the carded boot in the Strait... it is a minefield for foreign diplomacy. As always, Taipei plays with that. There is no One Belt, One Road, Lusophone Project, multiculturalism or global trade that resists the use of force against Taiwan.
Across the barricade, Trump also carries the nationalist key. The Commercial War and the wall with Mexico serve the militaristic and protectionist semiotics of a leader lacking in conservative ground. The international situation shakes its foundations and the economic data is frightening. With his stock market down and unemployment rising, Trump falls in the ballot box, even if he stands in the Judicial System.
In the short term, Xi and Trump are useful to each other; they represent the external enemy that explains the use - and abuse - of internal power. But in the medium term that is dangerous. After the stock market crash in 1929, economic protectionism and nationalism - fascist and communist - shaped the conditions for World War II. History does not always repeat itself, but it is good not to repeat a formula that has already gone wrong.
* Plataforma Macau / Global Media Administrator