Four Chinese military planes entered Taiwan‘s southwest air defense identification zone on Jan. 26, 2021 . Image source: Official website of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China
As the situation in the Taiwan Strait becomes increasingly tense, the discussion about the Communist Party’s armed unification of Taiwan has once again become a hot topic of concern. On February 26, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates also warned that the situation in the Taiwan Strait was dangerous given the ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party‘s top brass.
In a new study, Australian think tank China Matters said Xi Jinping is determined to solve the Taiwan issue in this generation. The annual survey by the Institute for Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank, also ranked a serious crisis between the U.S. and China over Taiwan as the highest level of potential global conflict for the first Time.
And at a recent global market forum, several academics and experts warned anxiously that Taiwan is “the world’s most dangerous hot spot.
At a Feb. 26 networking event hosted by The Washington Post, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates responded to a moderator’s question about how he assessed the current state of affairs in the Taiwan Strait by saying that the situation in Taiwan was “very dangerous” and a source of great concern to him in the multifaceted competition between the United States and China.
Gates said Xi Jinping is committed to reclaiming Hong Kong and Taiwan to China during his tenure, allowing him to achieve the same status as Mao Zedong.
Gates is concerned that as the Communist Party’s military strength grows, China may take action against Taiwan, using a “nibbling strategy” to take Taiwan’s islands close to China’s periphery bit by bit, while continuing to send fighter jets, bombers, and warships across the center line in a continuous threatening move.
Since January 2020, when the Epidemic began, the Chinese Communist Party has been sending warplanes to harass the Taiwan Strait, and has since frequently entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and sometimes crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait. After 1 year of implementing the strategy of elevated force provocation in the Taiwan Strait, the CCP sent fighter jets, bombers, and warships to disturb Taiwan more frequently as the U.S. Biden administration came to power on January 20, 2021.
Gates said, “Frankly, given the direction Xi Jinping is taking going forward, we should seriously consider that perhaps it is time to abandon America’s strategically ambiguous approach to Taiwan.”
Meanwhile Gates offered advice on the Biden Administration‘s U.S. policy toward Taiwan: “We should tell China (the Communist Party) that the United States will support Taiwan if they act against it without cause; and also tell the Taiwanese that they are on their own if they act unilaterally to seek an independent way to change the status quo.”
Gates, 77, served as director of central intelligence during the Bush Sr. era and as U.S. secretary of defense during the Bush Jr. and Obama eras, from 2006 to 2011.
In addition to Gates, several experts and scholars are also worried about the possibility of the Communist Party of China’s armed reunification with Taiwan and strongly advocate that the Biden administration should adopt a policy of strategic clarity on the Taiwan Strait issue, confirm its commitment to the defense of Taiwan and demonstrate its military capability to defend Taiwan.
According to Voice of America, Daniel Blumenthal, former director of the Department of Defense’s China-Taiwan and Mongolia Affairs, strongly advocated that the U.S. should adopt a clear strategic policy on the Taiwan Strait when he introduced his new book “China’s Nightmare: The Ambitious Ambitions of a Faltering Regime” at a seminar at the Center for Global Taiwan Studies on February 17. The United States should adopt a policy of strategic clarity on the Taiwan Strait.
The only way to stop this is to affirm our commitment to the defense of Taiwan and to demonstrate our military capability to defend Taiwan,” Bu said, noting that the Chinese military has demonstrated its military capabilities, including the crossing of the center line in the Taiwan Strait by military aircraft and more provocative maneuvers in Taiwan’s airspace. Unless we can do that, the situation is all but dangerous.”
Robert Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Philip Zelikow, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, said in a report that the Taiwan Strait crisis “is turning into the world’s most dangerous flashpoint that could involve a war between the United States, China, and other major nations. The report calls on the Biden team to develop a strategy.
The report calls on the Biden team to develop a strategy to achieve the U.S. strategic goal of “preserving Taiwan’s political and economic autonomy, the vitality of this free society, and the deterrence of the United States and its allies without triggering a Chinese attack on Taiwan. The report said the existing U.S. strategy is not sufficient to deter or, if necessary, respond to coercive or aggressive behavior by the Chinese Communist Party.
According to Bu, the Trump administration did a good job of mentioning U.S. compliance with the One-China Policy while also emphasizing U.S. compliance with the Six Assurances and other commitments to Taiwan in the declassified documents, rather than standing up at the end of the meeting and reiterating routine statements to curry favor with the Chinese Communist Party.