At a particularly tense moment, in October 2020, a US intelligence report detailed how concerned Chinese leaders were that President Trump was preparing for an attack. These potentially misunderstood concerns led the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Millie, to telephone his Beijing counterpart to say otherwise.
Ivan Medeiros, a member of President Obama’s National Security Council, said: “The Taiwan issue is no longer a narrow petty issue and has become the central theater – if not the central drama – in the strategic rivalry between the US and China.” ”
China’s ambitious leader Xi Jinping now leads the country’s strongest army in history. Some argue that Xi, who will be running for a third term in 2022, may be forced to conquer Taiwan to crown his reign.
Xi said in Beijing on Saturday that Taiwan’s independence “poses a serious threat to national rejuvenation.” China wants peaceful reunification, he said, but added: “No one should underestimate the determination, strong will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Some believe that war is inevitable or deliberate, in part because the economic and diplomatic setbacks for China will be staggering. And while recent flights into Taiwan’s self-proclaimed airspace are only a form of political pressure and not war, China’s financial, political and military dominance has made defending the island a serious endeavor. .
Until recently, the United States believed this could stifle China’s territorial ambitions, but long-term military advantage may not be enough. When the Pentagon hosted war games in October 2020, America’s “blue team” fought a mock battle for Taiwan using China’s new weapons.