Author Topic: Will Xi Jinping Blockade Taiwan?  (Read 1651 times)

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Will Xi Jinping Blockade Taiwan?
« on: May 10, 2019, 10:50:51 AM »
Will Xi Jinping Blockade Taiwan?
If Xi Jinping isn’t positioning himself and his nation to rectify the issue of Taiwan once and for all, then who will?


By Bonnie Girard
May 07, 2019
     
https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/will-xi-jinping-blockade-taiwan/
 
Much is made of China’s obsessive need to “redress a national humiliation,” as a banner around a watch tower on the Great Wall trumpeted shortly before the handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997. The humiliation referred to was the forced domination by foreign powers of sovereign Chinese lands and ports during the 19th and 20th centuries, as countries from Britain to Germany to Japan tried to break down China’s barriers to foreign trade.

That humiliation, as potent and politically powerful as it is, doesn’t come close in the Chinese consciousness to the affront rendered upon the Communists as the Nationalist (KMT) forces of Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) fled to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. The audacity of the retreat, combined with the KMT’s increasing success in establishing a government-in-exile on Taiwan, became a festering wound in Beijing as the Nationalists, ruling under martial law, were able to sit on China’s southeastern coast and sneer back at the mainland for 38 years.

When martial law was lifted in Taiwan and democratic reforms put in place, in some senses the situation became worse for the Communist Party in China. Now they had to contend not only with their old foe, the KMT, but with new enemies in the form of political parties that might just declare Taiwan’s independence.

Every leader of the People’s Republic from Mao onward has vowed reunification with Taiwan. It can be argued, however, that none have had the resources to consider taking proactive action on the issue, until now. It would be better to assume that Xi is ultimately planning to address the issue, than not. If he does, what would he do? Invade? His military and naval advisors will tell him that’s a fool’s mission. But they might not be so quick to dismiss another option. They might lend their support to a blockade of Taiwan, now that much of the infrastructure and resources needed for one are falling into place. There are other telltale signs that China may be planning a blockade of Taiwan, if Xi decides to resolve the Taiwan issue.

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