Ground Report, New Delhi: China invades Taiwan; The pressure amongst the China-Taiwan issue is on the rise. President Xi is ardent about the reunification of Taiwan and sees the self ruled country as a part of China only. On the other hand, Taiwan considers itself as an autonomous country.
Being an island country, it lies under a list of islands known as “First Island Chain”, these countries are vital to the foreign policy of the US. If China takes over Taiwan, it can threaten the US military bases.
China-Taiwan History: Kuomintang, A Nationalist Party of Mainland China fled to Taiwan after the 1949 war, and since then, it has been one of the most influential political parties ruling the island. Taiwan has not been recognized by numerous countries, only 13 countries and the Vatican city has recognized Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
Over the years, China has advanced in every field and has become extremely aggressive. Due to its assertiveness, China could throw hands to attempt reunification through strengthening economic ties. If China escalates to a military confrontation then it will dominate Taiwan in a blink of an eye as China’s military strength is well known and ranges from naval power to cyber attacks.
Timeline of Incidents post 2015
In 2016, Taiwan’s current president Tsai Ing-wen was elected. She leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which leans towards eventual official independence from China.
When Donald Trump came into power in 2016, Ms Tsai had a conversation over a call with him, despite the lack of formal ties,
Despite the lack of formal ties, the US has pledged to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons, adding that any attack from China would present a “grave problem”.
China started to force the companies to list Taiwan as a part of China on their websites instead of a separate option. This continued throughout 2018 and China also threatened them if they failed to abide.
Ms Tsai won a second term in 2020. By that time Hong Kong had seen months of unrest, with protesters demonstrating against the mainland’s increasing influence – a development many in Taiwan were watching closely.
Later that year, China’s implementation of a national security law in Hong Kong was widely seen as yet another sign that Beijing was becoming more assertive in the region.
At the same time, the US further intensified its reach to Taiwan and ensured its continuous support to Taiwan. In September 2020, Diplomatic visit took place, and Washington sent the highest level state department officials to the island.
This step was criticized by Beijing strongly and warned the US to not send any wrong signals related to Taiwan’s independence else the US-Beijing relations would be severely strained. In the waterway that separates the island from the mainland, China conducted a live-fire military exercise during its controversial visit.
In 2021, President Joe Biden’s administration said its commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid”. After this statement, Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese warplanes over two days. Then on 12 April, the Taiwanese government said China flew the largest number of military jets into its air defence zone for a year.
In response, US Admiral John Aquilino, head of the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific command, warned that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan “is much closer to us than most think”.
In September-October 2021, Taiwan experienced simultaneous disturbances in its air defence zone which is completely Taiwan’s area and incursions from other countries in the zone are highly prohibited. It turned out that China sent military jets because the country views Taiwan as a breakaway province.
Cornyn in support of stronger deterrence in Taiwan Strait said that “there’s no reason to believe the Chinese Communist Party would stop there.” The Chinese Communist Party claims territory in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and India as well,” Cornyn said. He further added: “We shouldn’t view Taiwan as the CCP’s ultimate goal but as the first domino in a quest to reach regional and global dominance. If Taiwan falls, it will not be the end, but rather a beginning.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s ambitions are ever growing, not even some southeast nations will get affected but it would be a matter of concern for other countries as well. The world will soon become a place where China will single handedly showcase the ability to become the hegemon in world politics.
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