After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it seemed that the possibility of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be in the near future. Many have been speculating for years that China would be invading Taiwan soon.In fact, China keeps threatening Taiwan with an invasion if they don’t surrender. China has been aiming for a reunification for decades, saying that they have waited long enough for a peaceful reunification. However, they’re not ruling out “other options”.
Tensions have been rising during conferences and talks with politicians. While Western leaders continue to show their support for Taiwan and warn China of any consequences they may face, Chinese leaders and ambassadors push their ideas of reunification even further. Taiwanese leaders are also being brave by continously declaring independence and their readiness for defense.
In case you aren’t sure about the history between Taiwan and China, here’s a quick rundown:
To begin, Taiwan is officially titled the Republic of China (ROC) while China’s official name is the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Sovereignty over the island of Taiwan has been disputed for decades, with both governments claiming ownership. After WWII, ROC was placed under PRC rule. Civil war broke out between the two territories, which ended in 1949 after Taiwanese troops retreated back to Taiwan. In the early 1970s, PRC was established and then, a few years later, they offered Taiwan a “one country, two systems” deal which was ultimately rejected.
Though the Chinese defense ministry spokesman said in a 2021 briefing that reunification is “inevitable,” Taiwan said in 2022 that they will fight to the death.
Even as of late, the discussion is still a matter of discussion. Liz Truss, who was just sworn in as British Prime Minister in September 2022, warned that China should “play by the rules.” She also suggested they make a note of how Western countries responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many news outlets said an invasion would happen this month, but it hasn’t. And I don’t think it will because of the following main reasons.
As Prime Minister Truss mentioned, Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia after invading. They’re likely to do the same with China. The stopping of trade between the US, the UK, and Beijing would cost the country trillions. If these two nations sanction China, then it's more than likely that other nations would do the same. With China’s tricky economy, it's something they’re better off avoiding.
It doesn’t take an expert to understand that war is expensive. One would have to completely put the nation’s economy on the line to make up for the funding of a defense infrastructure. With inflation and rising coal prices, it would not be a smart move.
Taiwan Is Armed
It’s been around 20 years since the Chinese Civil War, which led to ROC troops being forced to retreat. While the nation itself remains the same geographical size, its military weapons have greatly increased. Its outer islands are armed with missiles, rockets and its hills have a whole bunker system. The Taiwanese are ready to defend themselves after having had military assistance from the US.
The Indo-Pacific Quad is a US-initiated alliance between the US, Japan, Australia, and India. Japan has already stated that they’re ready to jump in and defend Taiwan if China ever invaded. If the U.S. doesn’t get involved from the beginning, they certainly will if Japan does.
The Quad’s main purpose is to maintain peace in this area, and that they won’t tolerate any aggression from China. So, in other words, China won’t be facing just Taiwan but a whole group of nations.
Because of the world being on edge after Russia invading Ukraine, I think that the Chinese government is using this to scare Taiwan into surrendering. Of course, we cannot overlook the fighter planes they’ve already flown over the islands. Their acts of aggression can almost be compared to those of a bully. A lot of nations have their eye on China and are ready to act if they take action against Taiwan. These countries won’t watch from a distance like NATO did with Ukraine.
Of course, it will always be hard to guess what politicians will do next, especially those who are constantly doing something extreme. However, if an invasion were to happen, there are countries ready to stand their ground. But we forget the civilians, from both sides, that will be facing warfare. We as a society must come together, once again, to show our support and help as best we can.