Index > ANBOUND Geopolitical Review (AGR)
Tuesday, November 09, 2021
On the 'Taiwan Strait War'
Kung Chan

There are three main reasons for the world to pay attention to the possibility of war at Taiwan Strait. The first is the competition in the South Sea islands; the second is the large-scale military exercises in the South Sea; and the third is that Chinese military aircraft continue to approach the median line of the Taiwan Strait and exert pressure. These factors have repeatedly appeared, especially the continuous impact of Chinese military aircraft facing Taiwan, and the scale has become larger and larger, causing tension globally. With the great attention of the world's press, such tension has spread to the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To a certain extent, this resembles the returning to the tensed confrontation in the wake of World War II.

Yet, "Taiwan Strait War" will not happen.

The focus and core of China's strategic policy on Taiwan has never been Taiwan itself, but rather is the United States. When the world and its press, capital, economics, and politicians, focused their attention on Taiwan, they miss the actual direction of the issue. Taiwan is merely a pawn in geopolitics. China knows this well, and so do Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan is in a very important strategic position in the geostrategic game. It is not ideology that determines whether Taiwan wins support, but its important geostrategic position. If Taiwan is completely controlled by the Chinese army, then Japan will be completely exposed to risks, which will immediately cause major turbulence and major changes in Japan's political landscape, and the Japan-U.S. security agreement will basically go bankrupt. When this happens, the U.S. military will actually be immediately compressed back to the front line in Hawaii, tantamount to returning to the situation before World War II. Needless to say, the impact of this on the world economy will be huge. Considering the number of commercial ships passing through the Taiwan Strait each year, the importance of this route to Japan and South Korea, and to the world is rather obvious. Therefore, the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan have the same dominant interests in ensuring the stability and security of the Taiwan Strait. In this case, China has no chance of winning, and the Chinese military fully understands this. Otherwise, there would already be war in the Taiwan Strait years before this.

Those who disagree with the view that there would be no war in the Taiwan Strait often point out that China did not produce threats to this extent in the past. At present, there are also a large number of military aircrafts challenging the Taiwan Strait, and warships circle around Taiwan. My answer is actually very simple. If the world is unwilling to agree that China and the Chinese military still maintain restraint and rationality on the Taiwan issue, then at least we must see Taiwan's true position in the world's strategic structure and its substantial balance structure.

Under today's circumstances, I expect that the U.S. will inevitably consider recognizing "coexistence" with China in exchange for and ensuring the existence and security of Taiwan. This is of course a major strategic victory for China, but the U.S. does not lose anything as it does not, while Taiwan may get things that it could not obtain in the past in response to the tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the most important of which is the improvement of its international relations, as well as development support of weapons. I think that on the issue of the so-called "Taiwan Strait War", the only people who are shocked by the outcome are the press around the world, investment circles and some politicians.

It should be pointed out that it is Taiwan itself who hope the "Taiwan Strait War" would take place.

This is because the tense situation of the so-called "Taiwan Strait War" can be used by Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party to improve Taiwan's survival and international environment, and win wider support in the world. This strategic pattern and emotional has produced certain transformations to Taiwan that it could not realize, yet now such transformations could be achieved easily. The United States has even publicly announced that it will promote Taiwan to join international organizations, including the United Nations. In addition, European Union is also actively improving relations with Taiwan, while the U.S. military has been stationed in Taiwan for a long time.

The reason for this change is actually very simple. Driven by the tensions in the international environment, Taiwan Strait, the situation across the Taiwan Strait has been re-examined and redefined internationally, including its strategic cost and interest. This has led to a rapid increase in Taiwan's substantial influence in the international environment, which is precisely its geopolitical gain.

In this regard, it will not take long for China to change its strategic operations and move toward a more peaceful, instead of more impulsive approach. After all, for the United States to admit that it must "coexists" with China, and that China has changed from looking up to the United States and now considering it as an equal, all these are huge strategic success for the Chinese society.

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