It appears that China is closer to moving toward the dialectic of war. During the country’s national holiday last week, the Chinese leadership made it clear that Taiwan’s reunification with China is not a question of if but when. To back their words with deeds, China sent a large number of military aircraft over the Taiwan strait in a show force. Although tensions have been lessened since then, the rhetoric and reasoning behind the military exercise remain virtually intact.
Although there is a general consensus that a military confrontation is highly unlikely, at least for the moment, the future of Taiwan autonomy is increasingly in doubt. But nowhere geopolitics is so blatantly at play than in south Asia. This is here one can fully assess Chinese and American geostrategic ambitions, and any miscalculation could lead to confrontation. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that needs to be brought into fold. The United States, in the other hand, sees Taiwan as a buffet against China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
President Xi Jinping last weekend again reiterated China’s goal. “Reunification of the nation must be realized, and will definitely be realized,” he said. And the Chinese military seems poised to accomplish the task. Over the past two decades, there have been massive improvements in the country’s armed forces.
The U.S., on its part, has been increasing support for Taiwan in the words of U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price who said last Tuesday that American support for Taiwan has never been so strong. “We have also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan.”