China tries to calm ‘nationalist fever’ as calls for invasion of Taiwan grow

  • Loud calls on social media urge Beijing to strike while world is busy with coronavirus crisis, but observers say the authorities do not want to be rushed
  • A recent article in an influential Communist Party journal drew on parallels with the 17th century conquest of the island to highlight need for patience

South China Morning Post
Date: 10 May, 2020
By: Minnie Chan

Beijing is trying to calm rising nationalist sentiment after a growing chorus of voices called for China to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by invading Taiwan.

A number of commentators on social media have called for the island to be reunified by force – something Beijing has never ruled out – but some analysts believe the authorities want to play a longer game and are now trying to cool the “nationalist fever”.

An article published earlier in the month in the magazine of the Central Party School, which trains senior officials, drew historical parallels with the Qing dynasty’s conquest of the island in the 17th century to highlight the importance of patience and careful planning.

The Qing, who came from Manchuria, seized power in Beijing and northern China in 1644 and gradually consolidated their control over the Chinese mainland in the following decades.

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