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HomeGeopolitical CompassEast AsiaThe Taiwan Temptation: Why Beijing Might Resort to Force

The Taiwan Temptation: Why Beijing Might Resort to Force

Author: Oriana Skylar Mastro

Affiliation: Center Fellow at The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (Stanford University)

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: July/August 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 4574


Keywords: Taiwan, China, The United States


For many years, China has sought to unify Taiwan with the mainland by peaceful and diplomatic means. More recently, it has been considering the use of force for unification, especially during the Xi Jinping era. The invasion of Taiwan or its unification with mainland China seems irresistible with China’s latest military technology and superiority. Even the United States, which is the most important actor to defend Taiwan in this situation, cannot deter it. Although the Taiwan issue is full of possibilities that could bring China and America into confrontation, China is able to face this confrontation with its developing air, naval, and land forces—all with the latest technological military equipment. According to many political analysts, China’s People’s Liberation Army has been well trained for many years and it can now succeed in such an endeavor. Xi Jinping sees the “Chinese dream” of unification with Taiwan as something that should be achieved as part of his “legacy”, and as a problem that should not be passed from generation to generation. The author emphasizes that the chances of success against the United States in the event of China’s invasion of Taiwan are high, in all probability, even in a powerful attempt. She emphasizes that China can be strong against sanctions and pressures from the international community. Accordingly, there is not much to deter China from invading Taiwan. In the conclusion, the author offers two reasons to deter China: First, to convince China that such an invasion would prevent the “Chinese dream” as it would hurt its economic growth; and Second, by denying it the opportunity by mobilizing and making it appear impossible to defeat the United States which surely would intervene to defend Taiwan.

By: Esra Ibrahimagaoglu, CIGA  Research Intern



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