While Beijing may like to seize Taiwan by any means, it may not actually think the costs of doing so are worth it.
The5 National Interest
Date: November 20, 2020
By: Kris Osborn
Are the United States and China truly on the brink of war over Taiwan? Or could one simply observe that there appears to be a never-ending measure of escalation with verbal exchanges, military drills and exercises and geopolitical posturing?
A 2005 Chinese Anti-Secession law gives the Chinese government authority to use force to reunify with Taiwan should the “break away” province formally declare its independence. Given that the island of Taiwan is, at the moment, basically autonomous and independent from China, there is little value in actually declaring independence.
Yet the Chinese military has been flying fighter jets over the Western coastline of the island of Taiwan, conducting amphibious assault warfare preparations and sending its new carriers quite close to the area. All of this is against the backdrop of Chinese-government-backed newspapers writing visibly about war-readiness to take over Taiwan.
Is there a realistic possibility that China could succeed in any takeover of Taiwan? Maybe, in part due to a combination of operational speed and the prospect of U.S. restraint. Could China be successful in an attempt to quickly overwhelm Taiwanese defenses before U.S. forces could respond? If that happened, could Beijing therefore manage to secure the island before a large counterattack was possible? This seems unlikely, given the sustained U.S. presence in the region and forward positioning of strike assets nearby. [FULL STORY]