A striking warning from a US top commander in the Senate: there is a good chance that China will invade Taiwan within six years. Admiral Philip Davidson’s words impress, but are they realistic?
In any case, the American’s warning should be taken seriously, says Alessio Patalano, East Asian security expert at King’s College London. “And I say that not only because such an admiral says so, but because of the observable steps that China has taken since the re-election of Taiwanese President Tsai in early 2020.”
Exercises and patrols
Since then, the Chinese Air Force and Navy have increasingly conducted exercises and patrols in the Taiwan Strait and around the islands claimed by Taiwan. “These activities are not only more common, but have become more complex, using advanced spy planes, fighters and bombers,” said Patalano.
Tensions between China and Taiwan intensified during President Trump’s tenure, who tightened US-Taiwanese relations and significantly increased sales of military equipment to Taipei.
Taiwan itself said it remained open to dialogue with China, but as discussion partners on an equal footing with each other.
The muscles of China
Those positions of Taipei and Washington are at odds with Beijing’s one-China policy. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that must eventually be reunited with the mainland.
Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Taiwan should and would be a part of China and that he kept the option open to use “whatever means necessary”. Since then, the language from China has not softened.
For decades, China was mainly turned inward, but that time now seems to be over, correspondent Sjoerd den Daas explained last year:
How tensions between China and Taiwan are increasing
Source link How tensions between China and Taiwan are increasing