China and Taiwan: An imbalanced confrontation

Diana Estefana Rubio

China and Taiwan: An imbalanced confrontation

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually fall under Beijing's control. On its part, Taiwan sees itself as distinct from mainland China, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders.

Relations between Taiwan and China deteriorated sharply in August 2022, following a visit to the island by the then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during which she declared US support for Taiwan in the face of China's deliberate escalation of military threats.

Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated in the last couple of days due to William Lai, Vice President of Taiwan’s visit to the United States. China has pledged to take “resolute and forceful measures” in response to the visit.

In 2021, China appeared to ramp up pressure by sending military aircraft into Taiwan's Air Defence Zone — a self-declared area where foreign aircraft are identified, monitored, and controlled in the interests of national security.

In any military confrontation, China's armed forces would obviously dwarf those of Taiwan which will be looking for help from the US which sells arms to Taiwan. China spends more than any country except the US on defence and has significant offensive and combat capabilities — from naval power to missile technology, aircraft and cyber attacks.

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