A stark warning from a senior US Senate commander: There’s a good chance China will invade Taiwan within six years. The words by Admiral Philip Davidson impress, but are they realistic?
Either way, the American warning must be taken seriously, says Alessio Patalano, security expert for East Asia at King’s College London. “And I say this not only because such an admiral says so, but because of the observable steps China has taken since the re-election of Taiwanese President Tsai in early 2020.”
Exercises and patrols
The Chinese air force and navy have since become more frequent exercises and patrols the Taiwan Strait and around the islands claimed by Taiwan. “These activities are not only more common, but have become more complex, using spy planes, fighters and advanced bombers,” Patalano said.
Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated during President Trump’s tenure, which tightened US-Taiwan relations and sale of military equipment to Taipei screwed up considerably.
Taiwan himself said he had stayed to be open dialogue with China, but as discussion partners on an equal footing with each other.
The muscles of China
These positions of Taipei and Washington are at odds with Beijing’s one-China policy. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that must ultimately be reunited with the mainland.
Two years ago mentionned Chinese President Xi Jinping said Taiwan should and would belong to China, and that he still has the option of using “any means necessary.” Since then, the language of China has not softened.
For decades, China has been primarily inward-looking, but those days now seem to be over, correspondent Sjoerd den Daas explained last year:
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