ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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China's Dangerous Brinkmanship

China is obviously worried that successive elections in Taiwan, particularly of its president, tend to give greater domestic legitimacy and international credibility to the island republic.

What is China up to? Is it seriously contemplating an invasion of  Taiwan? If so, why? There are mixed signals from Beijing. This time, though, the parameters have been narrowed for a possible Chinese attack. Previously, Beijing would threaten to use force if Taipei were to declare independence. Now, it could also happen if Taiwan continued to indefinitely delay talks on reunification. The word ‘indefinitely’ is creatively vague, leaving Beijing to interpret it to suit its own requirements.

China is obviously worried that successive elections in Taiwan, particularly of its president, tend to give greater domestic legitimacy and international credibility to the island republic. And, conversely, bring into question Beijing’s own credentials, where the regime is a self-perpetuating dictatorship with no popular accountability. One might legitimately ask: If Taiwan can do it and be economically prosperous and socially stable, why not mainland China? The specious argument that Chinese society is somehow incapable of functioning as a democratic polity without risking stability is effectively belied by Taiwan’s example.

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