When China launched military exercises in the Taiwan Strait last month in response to a meeting in California between President Tsai Ing-wen and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, it was said to be conducting encirclement exercises (the term passed by Chinese propaganda) and that pressure was still building between China, Taiwan and the US. .
But what if the reality is completely different and more complex?
The three parties are still on a dangerous path leading to an escalation of tensionsays Amanda Hsiao, senior China analystInternational Crisis Groupheadquartered in Taipei.
But you also need to know how to recognize the steps they are taking in the right direction.
In this case, the United States, China and Taiwan have made an effort to reduce the level of provocation of their actions, which was not the case before. Taiwan made a concession by moving the meeting scheduled for Taipei to California. China, despite bringing ships closer to Taiwan’s shores than before, has conducted shorter and less exhausting exercises than it did last year when it launched ballistic missiles.Hsiao adds.
The visit of the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, sparked outrage in Beijing last August. It was a few months before the Chinese Communist Party congress, as President Xi Jinping was seeking a historic third term. Some analysts said he wanted to be tough on Taiwan.
This year, the Taiwanese presidential election scheduled for next January will have a moderating effect on all players.
Because of the election, I think China will be more careful this year in its dealings with Taiwan, says Amanda Hsiao. The Chinese will want to highlight the benefits that more stable trade with them would bring to the Taiwanese. They will refrain from being too aggressive this campaign season because it will undermine the larger message they are trying to send.
Because now, the relationship between China and Taiwan will be at the center of the Taiwanese election campaign. The main candidates have hardly been chosen when we already know that they want to be responsible and moderate vis-à-vis Beijing. Indeed, no one in Formosa wants war.
China wants to elect the Kuomintang (KMT), a party more open to reconciliation, Amanda Hsiao analyzes. I think the biggest danger looming on the horizon is how Beijing will respond to the potential re-election of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under incumbent Vice President William Lai.
The latter, like previous leaders of the party, highlights the need for Taiwan to defend its sovereignty against China.
For now, the tone seems more conciliatory in Beijing. Business and political visits between China and Taiwan have intensified since the end of China’s strict non-coronavirus policy.
Taiwan will not back down from its commitment to improving and maintaining a strong business environmentTaiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen promised on April 23 in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.
Despite the challenges China faces, we have been and will continue to be cautious in our handling of cross-strait affairs. We will not be provocative and will work with our democratic partners to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in the Taiwan Strait.
Calm public opinion in China
Japanese Financial Daily Nikki He published an analysis last week suggesting that those questioning, on social media, the relevance or need for China to invade Taiwan are no longer being censored. It reflects the degree of business being increasingly concerned about risks to the economy.
Although China does not rule out the unification of Taiwan by force, its military and security experts know from experience that it will be very difficult.says columnist Katsuji Nakazawa, who previously served as bureau chief Nikki In China.
Therefore, it has become necessary for the time being to calm the wave of public opinion sparked by the propaganda of the “wolf warriors”.
If the impression prevails that war with Taiwan is imminent, it will also curb the expansion of foreign companies in China and could lead to an outflow of Chinese assets. The impact on the Chinese economy will be significantsays the journalist.
Each day that passes in Ukraine confirms fears in China, according to analysts citing sources in Beijing, that the conquest of Taiwan will be neither easy nor quick.
No, the war has not started and the Taiwanese will not benefit from living in shelters. However, even if the risk of an imminent war is slim, the risk of an unexpected slip-up remains.