Does China understand Taiwan?

11-Feb-2019 Intellasia | Economist | 6:00 AM Print This Post

IF CHINA’S RULERS ever decide to invade Taiwan—a grim but not impossible prospect—they will need good answers to two questions. First, would the People’s Liberation Army win? The consensus in Taipei is that the PLA is close to that goal but is not “100% sure” of victory. Second, would ordinary Taiwanese submit?

Chinese leaders have limited patience for Taiwanese opinion. Their offer to the democratic island of 23m is ostensibly generous. Under the slogan “One Country, Two Systems”, Taiwan is promised lots of autonomy alongside access to China’s vast market. This is backed by honeyed words about unifying a family sundered for 70 years, since China’s civil war ended with the losing Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT) retreating to what they hoped would be temporary exile on Taiwan. Still, China is committed to using force to block any bid for formal independence.


Category: Taiwan

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