A stark warning from a senior US leader in the Senate: There is a good chance that China will invade Taiwan within six years. Admiral Philip Davidson’s words are impressive, but are they realistic?
In any case, the American’s warning should be taken seriously, says Alessio Battalano, an East Asian security expert at Kings College London. “And I say that not only because such an admiral says so, but because of the remarkable steps that China has taken since Taiwan’s President Tsai was re-elected in early 2020.”
Exercises and patrols
Since then, the Chinese air force and navy have increasingly conducted exercises and patrols in the Taiwan Strait and around the islands claimed by Taiwan. “These activities are not only more common, but have also become more complex with the use of advanced spy planes, fighters and bombers,” Batalano said.
Tensions between China and Taiwan intensified during President Trump’s tenure, which resulted in the consolidation of relations between the United States and Taiwan and greatly increased sales of military equipment to Taipei.
Taiwan itself said it was still open to dialogue with China, albeit as discussion partners on an equal footing with each other.
The positions of Taipei and Washington contradict Beijing’s one-China policy. China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that must eventually be reunited with the mainland.
Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Taiwan should be and will be part of China and that he kept the option open to using “any necessary means.” Since then, the language has not feared China.
For decades, China has been essentially turning inward, but that time seems to be over now, as correspondent Shoredan Das explained last year: