Taiwan is known as “Chinese Taipei’’ in most international stages, including the Olympics and international organisations due to pressure and fear of China. The official name of Taiwan is “The Republic of China”, easily confused with “People’s Republic of China”. Due to past civil wars within China, one branch of the government fled to Taiwan where they argued with the remaining branch who is the legitimate Chinese government. Despite this, for many decades, the current Chinese government has seen Taiwan as its own territory.
China has spent a couple of decades enlarging its military, with one of its core missions to take Taiwan by force if the Beijing leadership feels it is necessary. China is confident that they are fully prepared to launch an invasion into Taiwan in the next few years. This issue is a concern for world leaders, as it would affect many countries’ economies, politics and national security.
From late 2021 to earlier this year, Chinese aircraft have constantly invaded Taiwanese territorial airspace to warn the government, meaning national security has become one of the most pressing issues in Taiwan.
“Taiwan is not yet prepared for the growing threat from China. The only way that Taiwan can avoid military conflict is to really be prepared for conflict. They always say the best way to prevent war is to prepare for fighting.”, said Enoch Wu, an ambitious Taiwanese rising politician, who has raised campaigns and established a foundation related to national defence.
“Our goal needs to be when every morning Beijing leadership wakes up and they need to realise, today is not the day to take military action." he said.
Wu mentioned a “hedgehog theory”, which hopes Taiwan could be a little hedgehog within the international situation. Even a hedgehog is small and unremarkable, but big animals would still think twice before biting it. The same applies to the country, only when growing the pricks to strengthen itself can defend the threats from strong powers.
Taiwan is technically an independent country but without amendments from many countries. Taiwan is not part of the UN or WHO, having diplomatic relations with only 14 countries. However, its GDP ranking is 18th out of 180 countries in 2021. According to the Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank, the index of Economic Freedom in 2022, Taiwan is ranked 6th out of 184 economies. At the same time, China is ranked 158th and 35th among 39 countries in the Asia- Pacific region.
Over 52% of the world’s semiconductor supply comes from Taiwan, with Samsung taking 18.3% of it. The world is heavily dependent on the patents Taiwan holds and its ability to manufacture electronic components.
Taiwan was named "The most dangerous place on Earth" in 2021 by the Economist.
Whether this island is moving towards its formal declaration of independence is not only in China’s mind but also in the world’s, depending on what option China will take. If the Beijing government launches the invasion, the US is likely to send its military to help their ally, as Biden says the US will defend Taiwan if China attacks. If the US stays silent, China would most likely become the strongest power in Asia, posing a threat to the US geographically.
Economic Intelligence indicated Taiwan as a “Full Democracies” nation, while China as an “Authoritarian regime”. The world will have a political and economic crisis if Taiwan officially becomes part of China.
US President Biden and Secretary of United States Mr Blinken have both stated publicly that the US would stand with Taiwan and support the island to defend itself more than once.
After China's president, Xi, and Joe Biden had a three hour meeting at G20, Indonesia, The White House raised concern about China’s increasing aggressiveness toward Taiwan yesterday.
Xi then warned Biden that Taiwan was at the “very core of China’s core interests”. The diplomatic relationship between China and the US has been awkward after Nancy Pelosi, US House speaker, visited Taiwan in August this year.
The tension between Taiwan, China and the US has risen to new heights, considering the war between Russia and Ukraine now. The outbreak of war is uncertain. Does the world really want a conflict in East Asia?
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