Considering the current geopolitical situation in Asia and the fact that Russia, weakened by Western sanctions, is only nominally a superpower, China will most likely occupy Taiwan in the following years. This is evidenced by the fact that during the last 15 years Beijing has been stepping up its attempts to replace US military might in Asia.
The democratic Taiwan is under a constant threat of being invaded by the authoritarian China, whose leaders see the island as a Chinese province that must inevitably return to China’s hands.
Western intelligence service and think tank analysts have numerous times expressed their worries about the increasing ambitions of China’s Communist regime to occupy the democratic human rights haven and assume the leading position in China’s “new world” by 2050.
To achieve this, it’s clear that Taiwan will be seized by then. China has already indirectly threatened to do so using its propaganda machine. The threat is clear – Taiwan can become a part of China any given moment. It’s no secret that China has had a good teacher in this regard, i.e. Putin’s Russia who showed via the examples of Georgia and Crimea that in the modern world it’s still possible to occupy sovereign states and what consequences can the aggressor country expect in such a case. However, China is on an entirely different power level than the corrupt Kremlin regime.
Taiwan and continental China have been governed separately since 1949 when the nationalist government of the Republic of China, defeated in the civil war, fled to the island, leaving the communist-seized continental part of China to become the People’s Republic of China. Beijing considers Taiwan a part of its territory. Washington recognized the Republic of China until 1979, when it decided to recognize the People’s Republic of China but still remained one of Taiwan’s closest unofficial allies and military supporters. But now it seems that the time of the US in Taiwan will soon come to an end.
Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US was officially invited to the inauguration of the newly elected US President Joe Biden, which has not happened since 1979. Back then, the US Department of State stressed the commitment of the US to ensure Taiwan’s safety. I believe this time the US has decided to speak up much too late, as China has already begun the process of occupying Taiwan. In two or three years, we might see the active phase of this operation which will most likely lead to Beijing holding a falsified referendum in Taiwan.
*Juris Paiders has a Ph.D. in Geography Studies, works for the University of Latvia and in his spare time, and writes articles for the independent newspaper “Neatkarīgā” in Latvia. For decades, he has been researching such topics as territorial systems, economic geography, logistics, and transport geography. For the last decade, he has been closely following China’s expansion from a logistics and transportation perspective.