Speaking to LBC on Saturday, The Economist’s Beijing Bureau Chief David Rennie was adamant that Xi Jinping does not want to leave the unification of China and Taiwan to the next Chinese leader as he issued a chilling warning of Xi’s plans. He said while China will not leave an invasion off forever, he stressed they will only commit to an assault on the island if they know they can “definitely win” and not be defeated, an outcome which would destroy China’s reputation as well as its military and geopolitical ambitions.
He said: “There is a problem because If you are the Chinese leader you cannot go down in history as the guy who allowed Taiwan to get away.”
Mr Rennie explained how the issue for China with Taiwan is its status as a friendly democracy that is pro-western which is not run by China.
As a result, he stressed how China, in the event of Taiwan declaring full independence, will have no other choice to invade and take it back.
But Mr Rennie was clear that such an invasion would be a monstrous feat of military intervention but also very risky for the fabric of the Chinese Communist party.
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He said: “Because there is a very strong chance the Americans would feel obliged to intervene…
“If you’re the Chinese leader and you try and take Taiwan and fail, that is an utterly devastating blow.”
Mr Rennie said with this in mind, the Chinese Communist Party will not invade until they know they can definitely win a war for the island.
However, the Economist writer stressed the other factor that poses a real challenge to a Chinese invasion is the geography of Taiwan.
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The warnings come as Victor Gao, the vice president of the Centre for China and Globalisation, told Channel 4 news how there should be no attempt from the international community to interfere with China’s plans for Taiwan.
In a stark warning, he said: “The unification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is purely an internal affair of the Chinese people, including the 1.4 billion people on China mainland and the 23 million people in Taiwan.
“Nothing in the world can stand in the way of reunification of China. Unification of China is a must and it has to be achieved without too much delay.
“Preferably, by peaceful means and, if peaceful means cannot be achieved, any means will be possible.”