The Chinese military has in the past few years significantly increased their activities in and around Taiwan’s water boundaries raising concerns of a potential oncoming conflict. The CPC’s constant rhetoric of integrating Taiwan back into the mainland has begun showcasing its malicious intent as well. With the growing incursions into Taiwanese waters, China’s navy has laid emphasis on warning the Taiwanese people that a full-blown incursion could be possible.
The China-Taiwan relations which have been riddled in conflict for decades, going as far back to 1949, has caused global concerns of a full-blow military conflict. The fact that China is yet to renounce the use of force to achieve reunification with Taiwan has led many analysts to believe that the Party wishes to keep its options of a full military conflict open. Beijing has not only conducted several military exercises near the island but has intentionally provoked Taiwan’s military to escalate the situation.
Apart from the fact that the waters around Taiwan act as a buffer zone, The Taiwan Strait is also a very strategically important region. The threat or the potential to cause any conflict or instability in the region will have far-reaching consequences for overall stability, affecting countries in and around the region.
The CPC has since its inception asserted that there remains only ‘one China’ and that Taiwan is full part of the mainland known as the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan on the other hand operates solely on a separate and self-governing basis with its own political, social, defence and institutional structures. The conflict between the PRC and Republic of China (Taiwan) stems from the Chinese Civil War, when the CPC established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland and the ROC government retreated to Taiwan and continued to function there.
Taiwan as of today, maintains diplomatic relations with some countries and has its own passport, currency, and legal system with the CPC trying its best to isolate the democratically elected Taiwanese government. This has also resulted in the adherence of
most countries to the “One China” policy, recognizing the PRC as the legitimate government of China and not maintaining official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Apart from these attempts, the intimidating tactics deployed by the PRC is an actual cause for concern. From regularly conducting military drills across the Taiwan strait to testing missiles and other fatal technologies, the CPC has left no stone unturned in indicating that a takeover of the Taiwan island is eminent. The PLA’s military modernisation plans to are completely focused on integrating the island into the mainland. China’s ongoing military modernization efforts, particularly in its naval and missile capabilities, have raised very serious concerns about its ability to influence status quo altering events in the Taiwan Strait.
The only aspect preventing the CPC from escalating the dispute into a full-blow invasion is the involvement of the United States. Even though it does not maintain any formal relationship with Taiwan, it still follows up on a very strong unofficial relations with the island nation. Given its strategic interest in the region, Taiwan’s security is deeply intertwined with U. S’s stronghold in the region.
The United States and many other countries have strategic interests in the region and are committed to Taiwan’s security. Any conflict or significant shift in the status quo could strain international alliances and lead to broader geopolitical tensions. Therefore, the goal of the global community must remain to prevent such an onset of a conflict. Moreover, vital stakeholders in Taiwan have constantly raised the importance of peaceful negotiations in deterring the crisis including political candidates, while some others have emphasized the importance of maintaining the status quo by countering Chinese malicious behaviour around its orders. However, within mainland China, the calls have been mostly contrary. The growing misconception of Beijing’s military power has led many within the country and more dangerously within the Communist Party to belive that a takeover of the island is forthcoming. Such a growing perception only seems to be increasing in the past decade and leading to the misconception that such a strategy will prevail without status altering consequences.