What will Taiwan choose: prosperity or war?


REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Recently, some officials and experts have been worried about a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan. What would that mean?

This was fueled by President Xi Jinping's traditional statements in which he calls on the military to strengthen its defense capabilities and always be ready to respond to threats. What can be done: the world is still learning to understand China and only a few can correctly interpret the words of China's political beau monde. More often than not, they are interpreted literally, or too straightforwardly, without context.

In fact, the call for war with Taiwan sounds ridiculous from the Chinese point of view: how can we attack ourselves, the Chinese might ask? After all, the people of China rightly consider the island as their ancestral territory, as one of their provinces. Yes, it is now illegally and temporarily alienated, under the protectorate of Washington. But this is only temporary. And Taiwan is also home to Chinese, half-brothers. How can they be attacked?

The Chinese People's Liberation Army, of course, will tirelessly prepare to liberate Taiwan from the yoke of the U.S. occupiers and their mercenaries. But this does not mean that Chinese tanks are about to move into Taiwan right across the strait. The conditions under which China will use military force against Taiwan are clearly spelled out in China's constitution and military doctrine. One would like to think that both Taipei and Washington know about these conditions, and the red lines will not be violated. So there will probably be no need to use military force. Taiwan itself will fall into Beijing's hands like a ripe fruit. At the same time, U.S. military aid and mountains of American weapons on the island will remain gathering dust under the covers.

But for this to happen, China will continue to put military, sanctions and political pressure on the current Taiwanese regime.

From the latest. On April 9, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry recorded the approach of 58 PLA aircraft to the island. The whole armada of fighters, strategic bombers and military transport aircraft crossed the so-called midline of the Taiwan Strait and entered the island's air defense identification zone. Yesterday there were 78 such planes. And at the same time, large-scale maneuvers of the Chinese navy are taking place around Taiwan, which is practicing actions to surround the island. According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, this is "a warning to the separatist forces advocating the independence of the island, as well as a necessary measure to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the PRC.

So far, U.S. ships regularly pass near Taiwan Island, a province of China, without Beijing's permission. And the U.S. officially acknowledges this. That is, they deliberately enter territorial waters, violating the sovereignty of China. China is not yet ready to respond accordingly, although after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last year the Chinese military demonstrated how they could block navigation in this area. By declaring the area as a place for large-scale exercises, the Chinese military severely restricted the passage of ships. By the way, the naval blockade may be the non-lethal means of returning Taiwan "to the bosom of the motherland." After Pelosi's visit, China in fact narrowed the so-called territorial waters of Taiwan, placing them under the control of its navy.

Now the occasion for similar action was the Taiwanese president's trip to the United States. "A third person in the U.S. government, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met publicly with Tsai Ing-wen, and officials as well as congressmen contacted her, giving Tsai Ing-wen a platform for separatist statements about 'Taiwan independence,'" the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded. - "The essence of this step is that the U.S., in collusion with Taiwan, is condoning separatist efforts to advocate "Taiwan independence" under the pretext of "transit" to engage in political activities in the United States, to conduct official contacts between the United States and Taiwan, as well as increasing the level of substantive ties between the United States and Taiwan, which seriously violates the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, seriously undermines China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends a fundamentally flawed signal to the separatist forces advocating "Taiwan independence". China categorically opposes this and strongly condemns it."

But this is not just another Chinese warning. It is an excuse to tighten the noose around Taipei's neck even tighter. The Chinese navy immediately stepped up its activities near the coast of Taiwan. "The Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong was sent to intercept" the American aircraft carrier Nimitz, which was on a course for Taiwan. China has imposed sanctions on a number of American organizations and individuals. Economic sanctions against Taiwan and U.S. companies and representatives who violate PRC sovereignty are constantly expanding.

Characteristically, almost simultaneously with the Taiwanese leader's trip to the U.S., the deputy chairman of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party was in China. He met with Chinese high-ranking officials, and a large group of Taiwanese businessmen accompanied him on a tour of China, establishing new business contacts.

In 2024, Taiwan (like Russia, by the way) will elect the leader of the country. The candidate from the Kuomintang party (the same one that, after breaking with the Chinese Communists on procedural issues and then losing the civil war, moved to Taiwan and proclaimed its own Chinese state there) is the head and founder of Foxconn,the largest, even by world standards, manufacturer of Taiwanese iPhones. His surname is appropriate - Guo, and his name is Taimin (surnames are always the first character of the Chinese, I should point out). Not long ago this Taiwanese presidential candidate said: "It is dangerous to vote for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which promotes Taiwan's independence and opposes China. We cannot allow the DPP to continue to rule, we cannot allow our sons and daughters to live under a hail of bullets."

And he is not some Yanukovich. He is quite a pragmatic and intelligent comrade, since he founded and runs such a company. He and his colleagues simply realized that it was time to end unnecessary confrontation with the mainland. They, along with a considerable number of Taiwanese Chinese, realize that it is better to forget the old quarrels in the name of the island's future prosperity as an alternative to war and destruction in the name of illusory "democratic values" in the service of American interests.  In Taiwan, more and more people are beginning to understand that under the guise of fighting good against evil, they will be used as Ukrainians to "contain China." In addition, Taiwanese have before their eyes the example of Hong Kong, where after returning to the PRC little has changed. In fact, Taiwan is faced with a choice: peaceful life in the unified Chinese state, the global leader, or war and destruction in the name of illusory values.