Chinese military activity near Taiwan increases risk of military accidents (Eurasia)
Beijing’s military activity near Taiwan is a warning to the United States and Taiwan against deepening their relationship, an analyst at risk consultancy Eurasia Group said.
Taiwan has reported increasing violations of its air defense zone by Chinese fighter jets in recent days. The island said there were 148 Chinese Air Force planes in the southern and southwestern parts of the area in the four days since Friday – when China celebrated its national day.
Such activities increase the risk of a military accident in the Taiwan Strait, but the likelihood of armed conflict remains “very low” in the coming years, said Neil Thomas, analyst for China and North Asia -Is at Eurasia Group.
The Taiwan Strait, which is only 160 km wide at its narrowest point, separates Taiwan and mainland China.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing claims Taiwan, an autonomous democratic island, as a runaway province that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary. The CCP has never controlled Taiwan.
“Our analysis is that this is less of provocations designed to lead to some sort of conflict, and much more of a signaling device that Beijing uses to warn both Taipei and Washington – as well as other Western capitals. – to deepen their ties with each other and cross Beijing’s red lines, “he told CNBC’s” Squawk Box Asia “Wednesday.
These red lines include Taiwan’s declaration of independence or the United States’ shift in its “one-China” policy in which it does not take a position on the Taiwanese state, Thomas added.
US support for Taiwan
The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but relations between the two sides have tightened in recent years. This angers China, which does not believe Taiwan has the right to conduct its own diplomacy on the world stage.
There is growing recognition in Washington that it must invest more military, diplomatic and economic resources to deter Beijing from taking steps to change Taiwan’s “de facto autonomy”, Thomas said.
“We have seen the Biden administration pick up where the Trump administration left off with regard to Taiwan policy,” the analyst said.
He explained that the United States has facilitated the meeting of its government representatives with their Taiwanese counterparts and has advocated for Taiwan’s participation in international institutions that do not require statehood to become a member.
In May, the advanced economies of the Group of Seven, including the United States, wanted Taiwan to be allowed to participate in World Health Organization forums.
US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he had spoken to China’s Xi Jinping and that they had agreed to “abide by the Taiwan agreement,” Reuters reported. Biden appeared to be referring to the “one China” policy and the Taiwan Relations Act, according to the report.
The Taiwan Relations Act makes it clear that the United States’ decision to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing – instead of Taipei – rests on the hope that Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means.