The war is raging in the western Pacific: China’s ruler Xi Jinping, 68, wants to invade and annex neighboring Taiwan. Taiwan is a democracy, and Beijing considers itself a separate province. After the civil war won by the Maoists in 1949, the defeated Chinese fled to the island and remained in the Republic of China. Taiwan is a democracy that has been thriving for thirty years, according to the International Code of Democracy, which is actually the best in Asia.
Citizens participate in annual online hackathons in which they can suggest improvements to their government: Ten million out of 23 million people. The country is tolerant and global; It was the first country in East Asia to introduce marriage to everyone. Although the younger generation came to their great grandparents island from China, there are no Chinese today. The differences for the next dictatorship are enormous.
China’s anger over democracy
This annoys Xi Jinping because he wants to sell the world that he did not create the Chinese for democracy, but he calls it “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. The fact that 23 million Han Chinese have built successive democracies in a row does not apply to him. He sees the danger of the democratic fire spreading to the People’s Republic and transforming the country.
Therefore, he is now openly threatening Taiwan with war and annexation. His warplanes fly into Taiwan’s air defense zone every day to provoke the government in Taipei. Military strategists in the United States predict that this moment may come in 2027: then, in their opinion, the Chinese military will be modernized, so that it will dare to strike. The Chinese army is already stronger overall than Taiwan, but the Chinese soldiers have no ground war experience. The Russians are currently helping them. Putin’s military is training the People’s Liberation Army.
The Americans, a close ally of Taiwan, have already declared their firm commitment to island democracy. Japan, once a colonial power in Taiwan, is now a friend of the country and ready to support it. Both governments, however, are pushing back a bit with firm security commitments so that the extremists in Beijing are not subjected to a quick and bloody attack.
China wants to control the entire West Pacific region
In the end, Beijing doesn’t just want Taiwan. It has conflicts with the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Xi Jinping’s goal is to capture territory from all these countries in order to declare the entire Western Pacific as the Sea of China. Today this part of the ocean is international water, which carries a large portion of the world’s trade goods. Important internet cables also run at the bottom of this ocean. When China connects land and water, the whole business world must dance to its rhythm. G will be happy.
Democracies in the region, including Australia, are preparing for the worst. Canberra recently signed a major deal with Washington and London, namely new nuclear submarines for Australia, sophisticated military equipment and US troops for Australia and the region. India, another neighbor of the People’s Republic with Shia border conflicts, also plans to expand its navy.
Will economic pressure protect against war?
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese are worried about Beijing’s increasing occupation, but they are not frustrated. On the occasion of the Republic Day of China, which is celebrated every year on October 10, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (65) reiterated his desire to find a peaceful solution with his neighbors. Xi Jinping denied that Taiwan was not his equal partner. Ms Tai said Taiwan’s military and people would defend the island’s democracy and independence against Chinese occupation. In the poll it has more than eighty percent of the population because people in Hong Kong have seen what Shi and his naming did to the people. The people of Taiwan are convinced that if Beijing gets the chance, it will subdue the Taiwanese as well.
Taiwan is an important international trading partner. Many chips that end up in Western cell phones are made there. The country is an important friend in the coalition of democracy and the free world should not give it up. It is important to make it clear to Beijing that in the coming years, an attack on its peaceful neighbors will have serious repercussions for China, especially the economy. With the firm economic pressure of the free world, a military conflict that could claim many lives on all sides can be prevented.
* Dr. Alexander Korlach is a senior member of the Carnegie Council for the Ethics of International Affairs in New York. Most recently, he published “Focal Point Hong Kong: Why the Future of the Independent World Is Determined in China” (Hoffman & Camp, 2020).
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