Taiwan and China are very close to war

Taiwan and China are very close to war

China is conducting maneuvers to encircle Taiwan, accompanied by angry propaganda against the island's desire for independence. What is the reason for this rise in tensions?

Officially, the inauguration speech of Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te, asserts that the island's future will be decided by its 23 million people. Xi Jinping's government finds these words unacceptable.

In fact, what the Chinese government considers completely unacceptable is the defense of democratic principles that were the focus of President Lai's inauguration speech. The bottom line is that the United States and its allies cannot defend Taiwan indefinitely.

A little patience, a few decades at most, would allow Taiwan to fall like ripe fruit into Beijing's hands. But Xi Jinping appears increasingly in a hurry. His brutal takeover of Hong Kong has reinforced his view of the West's weakness.

Will he do the same as Vladimir Putin with Ukraine and turn military exercises into a real war with Taiwan?

1) Why does China seek to reclaim Taiwan?

Before Mao Zedong took power, Taiwan was part of Chinese territory. In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek, China's defeated leader, crossed the Taiwan Strait with two million people to form his government, claiming to represent all of China. The United States and its allies nearly abandoned Chiang Kai-shek, whose government was corrupt and incompetent. But the Korean War in 1950 prompted them to search for partners in the region to oppose China under Mao and its major partner at that time, the Soviet Union. Thus, Taiwan and Japan became unwavering allies of the United States.

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2) What are the military advantages to China of regaining control of Taiwan?

Regaining control of Taiwan would provide China with critical military advantages. First, by defeating its ally, the United States would lose a crucial military position. Taiwan is often described as America's unsinkable aircraft carrier. China will then break the first line of the military blockade in which the United States maintains China. The second line will be provided by US bases in the Philippines.

3) Is China's victory certain?

China's victory is not guaranteed. Conquering the island would likely have been very costly militarily and financially. However, Beijing could try to impose a blockade around the island, as the Soviet Union tried to do with Berlin. It is possible that such a blockade will be broken by the United States and its allies. But this would increase the risks of direct confrontation between the United States and China.

4) Why does Xi Jinping want to attack Taiwan now?

The Chinese economy has performed poorly, largely due to poor decisions made by Xi. Attacking Taiwan would be a diversion. Moreover, Xi may be tempted to exploit the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, which drain many resources from the United States, to launch an invasion of Taiwan. Finally, if Xi succeeds, history will remember him as the one who reunified China.

5) What prevents China from attacking?

An attack on Taiwan would lead to the closure of American and European markets at a time when China enjoys a large surplus of goods. Even a partial defeat could make Xi lose face and fall.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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