China fired multiple missiles around Taiwan on Thursday as it launched unprecedented military drills. The military exercises started a day after a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Beijing regards Taiwan as its sovereign territory (Reuters). China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022 will bring the whole world into a scary situation. It also increases the risk of a world war.
What China wants
According to Council on Foreign Relations, the government of Taiwan has been independent of China since 1949. However, Beijing views the Island as part of its territory. Beijing has vowed to eventually “unify” Taiwan with the mainland, using force if necessary. Tensions are rising. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose party platform favors independence, has rebuked Beijing’s efforts to undermine democracy. Beijing has ramped up political and military pressure on Taipei.
As the Economic Times states, the Chinese government says it wants “peaceful reunification”. However, it reserves “other options” for Taiwan. It regards Taiwan as a Chinese province, a view the democratically-elected government in Taipei strongly disputes.
According to ETHZ, islanders have a growing tendency to identify Taiwan as their homeland. This issue has attracted considerable attention from the US media and policy communities. There is a rising proportion of islanders identifying as Taiwanese. There is a widespread perception that this will result in increased enthusiasm for an independent Taiwan. There will be a weakening interest in political rapprochement or accommodation with the PRC. The media refers to this complex of attitudes as “Taiwanese nationalism.” The increase of “Taiwanese nationalism” is widespread among young Taiwanese. Experts say the growth of “Taiwanese nationalism” is a severe obstacle to stabilizing cross-strait relations in the future.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has said that he hopes to eventually unify Taiwan and China through peaceful steps. However, like his predecessors, he has not ruled out force. Some military commanders and analysts think China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022 is increasingly plausible (the New York Times). Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan on Wednesday.
A day after the visit, China launched three days of military exercises around the Island. A barrage of Chinese propaganda said the drills would serve as punishment for Ms Pelosi’s visit. Moreover, the exercise zones could give Chinese forces valuable practice for China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022 (Todayonline).
According to the Guardian, Taiwan’s military has said it is “preparing for war without seeking war”. Taiwan’s military expressed this stance after China’s military began an unprecedented four days of live-fire exercises close to Taiwan’s shores. The live-fire practices started on Thursday in reaction to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the Island.
As AXIOSAXIOS states, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN on Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the Island. The American forces are on the Island for training purposes. Tsai Ing-wen had “faith” that the US would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack. US officials, meanwhile, have been urging Taiwan to invest more in the kinds of asymmetric warfare capabilities.
Deccan Herald says that US-China relations are in a dangerous situation after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Pelosi received a rapturous welcome in Taipei. She also received strong bipartisan support in Washington. But her trip has enraged Beijing and Chinese nationalists and will complicate already strained ties even after her departure.
Trade effects of China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022
China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022 would hit global trade more than the Ukraine war, says Taiwan. Any Chinese military attack on Taiwan would have a more significant impact on international trade flows than the Ukraine war. A Taipei’s top trade negotiator said this to Reuters on Tuesday. The trade negotiator added that it would lead to a shortage of semiconductor chips (Reuters, June 14, 2022).
According to the Economic Times, Taiwan dominates the global market for the production of the most advanced chips. Taiwan’s exports of chips were worth $118 billion last year. The New York Times says that Ms Pelosi brought financial assurances. She called a trade deal between Taiwan and the USUS hopefully imminent. She also had a cordial meeting with the chairman of the Taiwan chip giant TSMCTSMC.
Some analysts fear the US and China could go to war over Taiwan. And Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the Island in 2022 heightened tensions between the countries (Council on Foreign Relations). Moreover, the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations have reacted to China’s stance. As Deccan Herald says, the G7 countries on Wednesday condemned the military drills of China around Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit.
China will “not hesitate to start a war” and “smash to smithereens” any Taiwan independence efforts. The Chinese defence minister said this to his USUS counterpart in the pair’s first face-to-face talks. He added: “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost” (Aljazeera).
Ian Easton says: “I am increasingly concerned that a major crisis is coming.” Ian Easton is a senior director at the Project 2049 Institute. Ian Easton wrote “The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia. ” Ian Easton adds: “It is possible to envision this ending in an all-out invasion attempt and superpower war. However, China and Taiwan have many reasons to avoid a war that could kill tens of thousands. Such a war could devastate their economies and potentially lead to a nuclear conflict with the US and its allies (Bloomberg). China’s attack on Taiwan in 2022 may lead to potentially nuclear wars causing a scary global disaster.