Mainland China’s Aggression towards Taiwan
|Topics:||International Relations, China, ⚔️ Military Science|
Table of Contents
The delicate and conflicting relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan manifested at the end of the Second World War. This conflict inflicted huge losses on Japan, occasioning withdrawal from most of their previous occupations and territories such as Taiwan. The resulting Japanese withdrawal from mainland China’s territories such as Taiwan resulted in in an ideological and political conflict between Chinese Nationalists and Communists. The ideological and political differences between Chinese Nationalists and Communists was irreconcilable, occasioning the establishment of two administrations in Peking and Taipei respectively. The People’s Republic of China administered its territories from Peking, while the Republic of China stablished its base in Taipei. However, before the advent of political and ideological theories such as Communism and Nationalism, China and Taiwan was one nation bound by similar traditions and culture under the Qing dynasty. The Qing dynasty governed China and Taiwan as one nation separated by the Asian waters. The Qing dynasty lost the Sino Japanese war and handed over the Island to Japan before China reclaimed Taiwan after Japan lost the Second World War. The role of local and global conflicts continue to define Taiwan’s fate from the 17ht Century during the reign of the Qing dynasty. After World War II and mainland China reclaiming Taiwan, an ideological war erupted in China between the Communists and Nationalists. The Communists won in mainland China and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, occasioning a strong ideological difference between the two previously one nation. Therefore, China uses its history from the era of the Qing dynasty, the Sion Japanese War, and the Mao Zedong reign as pointers to the oneness of the two territories. These coincidences and conflicts highlight the probable oneness of the two regions. Coincidentally, Taiwan uses the same history to justify the inherent differences between regions. Taiwan argues that before occupation by the Qing dynasty the region was autonomous and free from Chinese influence and later it was under Japanese influence. Moreover, ideological differences between the Communist and Nationalistic Taiwan highlight the evident differences between the two regions. Proponents of Taiwan and China unification allude to the shared history, culture, and language between the two territories with a belief that Taiwan is a Chinese province based the Qing’s authority over the region and governance through the Kuomitang Nationalist party originating from China. Therefore, China and Taiwan share history during the Qing dynasty but mainland’s recent aggression towards the island stems from geographical importance and thriving economy.
Taiwan’s Strategic Importance
Taiwan’s strategic and geographical significance presents potential security threat to its autonomy. According to Brown (2022), Taiwan is a close US ally that continues to assure the globe that it advocates for a free Indo-Pacific. Moreover, Taiwan is a China’s, South Korea’s, Philippines, and Japan’s close neighbors. Consequently, Taiwan’s independence from China and close association with the US gives the territory an increased strategic and security importance to its allies such as the US and member of NATO. Taiwan is not a member of NATO but its close ties with the US offers the NATO strategic and military advantage in the region. The resulting advantage from Taiwan’s allies such as the US and other NATO members revolve increased ground, water, and aerial access to surveille the military activities of the island’s powerful neighbors such as North Korea and China. As a result, the US and its NATO allies can monitor activities of mainland China and North Korea. According to Brown (2022), Taiwan can grant the US and her allies military operational bases countercheck activities of a rogue Chinese or North Korean regimes in Asia. Therefore, mainland China’s growing aggression towards Taiwan originates from the military and surveillance fears from western nations and NATO. Brown (2022) argues that China’s is afraid of the consequences of Taiwan’s relationship with the western powers. As a result, China believes that Taiwan can offer strategic access to her western allies during conflicts that can compromise the security of Asia’s largest and most populous nation. Taiwan’s strategic importance to her western allies has informed mainland China’s recent aggression.
China’s increasing aggression towards Taiwan is encouraged by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. According to Hutchings (2022), NATO’s failure to directly protect Ukraine using military and contemporary weapons and is encouraging China to intimidate Taiwan. Taiwan is a small island that relies on global support to overcome the activities of a bully neighbor. However, complications surrounding NATO membership and the organization’s strict regulation of military non-interference in conflicts involving none-members is encouraging China to intimidate Taiwan. According to Hutchings (2022), Taiwan’s close relationship with members of NATO and G7 is responsible for recent acts of aggression from mainland China. Moreover, Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan angered Chinese authorities, resulting in increased acts of aggression. China is escalating its aggression towards Taiwan because it believes that because the island is not a member of NATO, the powerful allice cannot protect her victim. However, according to BBC (2022), the Biden administration has promised to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression. As a result, China’s recent aggression hoping to exploit NATO’s stringent rules may not work. Taiwan presents special strategic interests to the US that may warrant reduced observation of the NATO regulations if China continues its aggressive behavior towards the autonomous island.
In retrospect, China and Taiwan’s complex relationship from the reign of the Qin dynasty to the Sino Japanese conflict reveal a long standing history but mainland’s recent acts of aggression stem from Taiwan’s strategic and geographical importance and Russian and Ukraine conflict. The shared history between Taiwan and China presents sufficient justification for proponents of a one state arrangement and the supporters of the status quo. Taiwan offers a strategic importance to its allies such as the US and NATO against rogue acts of powerful nations such as North Korea and China. NATO’s lack of direct support in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has buoyed China to increase its aggression towards Taiwan. However, NATO and G7 must protect Taiwan to avert the ongoing calamity in Europe.
- Brown, D. (2022).”China and Taiwan: A really simple guide.” BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59900139
- BBC (2022). “What’s behind China-Taiwan tensions?” BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34729538
- Hutchings, E. (2022). “Tensions have escalated dramatically between China and Taiwan, with a Chinese invasion of the island increasingly looking like a possibility.” GoodtoKnow. https://www.goodto.com/politics/why-china-want-to-invade-taiwan