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Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Taiwan can no longer afford to drop its guard amid assertive, nationalistic posture from China

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2022 22:42 IST

Taipei [Taiwan], October 24 (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping after securing an unprecedented third term at the 20th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) endorsed the "policy of One Country, Two Systems, resolutely opposing and deterring separatists seeking Taiwan independence."
Valerio Fabbri, writing in Geopolitica.info said that given this increasing assertive and nationalistic posture from China, Taiwan can no longer afford to drop its guard.
On October 16, Xi remarked, "We will safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation and take resolute steps to oppose 'Taiwan independence' and promote reunification. Resolving the Taiwan question is that must be resolved by the Chinese."
There are also reports that Xi has issued orders to the Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) to be prepared to attack the island by 2027, said Fabbri.
However, the US intelligence community believes that Beijing may change its plans and annex Taiwan by as early as 2024, which might coincide with the Taiwanese presidential elections scheduled to take place in January 2024, an event that Beijing believes may give further impetus to the pro-independence sentiments.
Tensions between the two countries reached their peak earlier this year when US House speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August.
A furious Beijing coerced Taiwanese government, launched cyber-attacks against Taipei and launched the largest ever military exercises around the island nation, reported Geopolitica.info.
It also termed Pelosi's visit as a "dangerous, reckless and irresponsible provocation".
China and the PLA forces introduced several threatening "firsts" to deter Taiwan, including joint firepower exercises in seven areas surrounding Taiwan and inside the island nation's territorial seas, unprecedented over flight of Taiwan by numerous Chinese short-range ballistic missiles and largest number of Chinese aircrafts till date, i.e. 30 that crossed the centreline of the strait. Latest capabilities like flying drones over the Taiwan-occupied Kinmen and Matsu islands were also deployed this time.

At a time when its 'wolf warrior diplomacy' has brought brickbats from the global community, China has chosen to leave no stone unturned to mount pressure on Taiwan, said Fabbri.
Beijing has always vowed to unify Taiwan into the mainland forcefully. Towards this end, it has also sought to weaken Taiwan's democratic polity, which stands in sharp contrast to China's one-party authoritarian Communist rule.
China has been isolating Taiwan by enticing many countries to switch their diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in return for Chinese aid and investment promises.
Taiwan has accused China of bribing politicians in some countries to recognise China over Taiwan, as was evident in the Solomon Islands and Guatemala cases, reported Geopolitica.info.
In response to China's cross-Taiwan Strait adventurism, the US has expanded its assistance to Taiwan. It is supporting Taiwan's submarine development programme by allowing US defence companies to sell technology.
Besides, the US has plans to offer more weapons. The Biden administration recently notified Congress of its plan to offer more than USD 1 billion in weapons and military support to Taiwan.
Washington has also sought to substantially expand the Taiwan military training exchange to cover army and naval training programmes.
If the statements made by Xi at the Party Congress are any clue, then one can only speculate that Beijing's adventurism will only grow in the East China Sea to coerce Taipei to toe its line or face the consequences, said Fabbri.
The growing pro-freedom/anti-unification sentiments in Taiwan, as reflected in its domestic political discourse, are only likely to fuel China's anger. (ANI)