Kinmen Island of Taiwan is vulnerable to Beijing and could be major flashpoint

30th October 2020

30th October 2020

Even though the authoritarian leaders of Beijing keep intimidating Democratic Taiwan and the tank traps on Kinmen Island's beaches is proof of that, it has learned to live with it.

But the recent crossings of China's jets in the defence zone of Taiwan has become hard to ignore. The situation is worse than the mid-1990s missiles attack of China on the Taiwan Strait.

Wang Jui-sheng, a freshman of Kinmen's National Quemoy University told AFP that "China is angry at Taiwan and acting all the more brutish."

He also said, "I'm worried about the chance of military conflicts between the two sides, possibly even in the near future."

China and Taiwan were formed after the end of the 1949 Chinese civil war and Kinmen lies 3.2 Km away from the mainland and has a population of 140,000.

"This is the most dangerous, the most unstable, and the most consequential flashpoint on the planet," Ian Easton, the Project 2049 Institute's senior director. It is a think-tank on China-Taiwan affairs.

Tsai Ing-wen became the president of Taiwan four years ago and for her, Taiwan is a sovereign state but China is trying every means, force, and diplomacy to have a Beijing-friendly politician in Taiwan's office.

But in January Tsai Ing-wen won elections for the second term. And this has increased the urgency of Xi Jinping on how to make Taiwan territory of China.

His goal of adding Taiwan to 'One China' by 2049 seems to be far away and this might be the reason he told his troops earlier this month when he was on a trip to a PLA base to "prepare for war."

Taiwan is not a US treaty ally and this is the reason it can't be said for sure that it will come for Taiwan's aid if needed.

Taiwan will get weapons from Washington to defend itself according to the policy of Congress which also states that the forceful capturing of the island will also be opposed by it.

This "strategic ambiguity" was made specially to guard Taiwan against any forceful invasion.

Easton said, "If Taiwan was conquered and occupied by the PRC (China), America's alliance system in Asia would be devastated."

And unlike former US presidents, Trump is very much willing to sell Taiwan weapons.

Deals of more than $15 billion have been agreed by the US in the last 3 years which also includes moveable missile platforms and F16 fighter jets of the new generation.

 

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