Is conflict inevitable?
Just when you thought the world had enough problems, China went and created another.
If you aren’t aware, which you should be, China and Taiwan are two self governing entities located in the far east. Back at the start of what is now called the People’s Republic of China, a number of the old regime who use to govern what was then call the Republic of China fled the country to the island of Taiwan. There they established what is now the country called Taiwan.
Problem is that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and Taiwan ROC (Republic of China) have never truly separated. This has led to numerous claims by the mainland of China to claim that Taiwan is and should be part of the PRC.
This argument isn’t new nor as it been a point of recent discussion, in fact it’s been an ongoing discussion since, well the establishment of the PRC. However now with the increasing integration of the former British territory of Hong Kong, China sees it as essential to reintegrate another wayward former territory, this time Taiwan.
On Tuesday 1st January 2019, the current president of China Xi Jinping made a very public address to his nation, during his address he stated the following;
China must and will be united, which is an inevitable requirement for the historical rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era.
China won’t attack Chinese people. We are willing to use the greatest sincerity and expend the greatest hard work to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification.
We do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures to achieve this goal and prevent Taiwan independence.
No one and no party can change the fact that Taiwan is part of China
President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
It is perhaps the “we do not promise to renounce the use of force” part that now has everyone somewhat concerned. China has over the last few years made a considerable effort to modernise it’s military for what it has come to portray as much needed protection from foreign powers, but was that the only reason?
With the construction of militarised naval and air bases in the South China sea, it doesn’t take much to imagine what lengths China is willing to go in order to achieve its goal. They certainly are equipped enough for it now, and they certainly do have the infrastructure in place for war, but would they really do it?
One hopes they will not, but Taiwan knew one day that China would come a knocking and ask for their island back, it might be time for them to think long and hard about how they respond, because the wrong answer could indeed led them to war. And with China previously and currently actively seeking to diplomatically isolate Taiwan from any potential ally, they may find themselves a lone with no help in sight.