Taiwan Fears US-China Tensions Put Them in Crosshairs

Military exercises emphasize Taiwan Strait

Recent arms purchases from the US led China to threaten Taiwan, and that’s just the latest in a series of incidents, amid US-China tensions, in which Taiwan’s status looks to possibly be in jeopardy.

This is unfortunately inevitable in a US-China battle. Claims to Taiwan are an historic issue for China, and US recognition to Taiwan through parts of the 20th century continues to make them a possible target for China, as the US aims at Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

All four recent Chinese military exercises had components in the Taiwan Strait, reflecting its importance. Taiwanese officials have tried to address their defensibility, but the extent to which this rests on US support makes it a possible issue to China.

It’s a war no one really wants, as China reclaiming Taiwan militarily would also damage its industrial base and cost much of its value. With the US and China at odds, there remains a risk of an accidental escalation bringing Taiwan into a war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.