What Xi Jinping is planning on Taiwan

The former Moscow correspondent for NBC Ian Williams wrote an article in The Spectator dated 22nd March, describing what happened when Xi Jinping said goodbye to Vladimir Putin when their summit ended in the Kremlin last month. Xi suddenly turned to Putin and said, which seemed unscripted, “Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years, and we are driving this change together”. Then “The two men clasped hands, smiling. ‘I agree,’ Putin said, briefly bringing up his free hand to hold Xi’s arm. The Chinese leader then added, ‘Please take care, dear friend'”.

What is the “change” that Xi was speaking about? In the last decade, the state media of China has presented the idea of “the East rises, the West declines” to the people, saying that China will become the greatest global power in the foreseeable future. Then the rules of the world will be changed – It was the West who set the rules in the last century, but eventually, the East will become the one to decide. Therefore, Xi was telling Putin: we will overturn those rules together.

That’s why I disagree with US State Secretary Antony Blinken when he said China and Russia are in “a marriage of convenience”, I believe Xi and Putin are soulmates who share the same ideology. The new evidence is the words from the Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye in LCI interview. He reveals Xi’s true thoughts: if the previous Soviet states have no effective status in international law, Putin is righteous to reclaim all those countries. Xi will fully support Putin in doing so; in return, Putin must back Xi to achieve his historical mission, the “reunification” with Taiwan.

US President Biden told the media that he believes there is no imminent threat of a Taiwan invasion after he met with Xi Jinping last November. Reports said Xi promised Biden that China would not take any military action during Biden’s first presidency. Can Xi be trusted? Well, technically, yes, Xi needs time to prepare to strike. We need to know that the failure of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not make Xi hesitate but to refine his war plan on Taiwan to justify himself to become the Fuhrer of China.

Some say if the opposition in Taiwan, the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT), wins the Presidential election in the coming January, cross-strait tensions will be eased, as KMT maintains good relations with the Chinese Communist Party. Actually, that is the propaganda that Xi is presenting to the Taiwanese.

Xi’s top priority now is to push KMT candidates to cross the finishing line, so the KMT can then say Taiwan needs to bury the hatchet with mainland China. Taiwan’s arms build-up would be reduced while its ties with the US and Japan would be loosened. I believe that Xi will deploy missiles and warships to encircle Taiwan, no later than 2027, which is the end of his 3rd term. Then the KMT would call for peace at any cost and sign an agreement with Xi including a time table for “unification.” Xi would then have reached the apex of his glorious long-lasting dictatorship.

What if the KMT loses the next Taiwanese presidential election? Xi will still push forward his plan by creating and deepening a global crisis or using disinformation to produce chaos within the US and her allies, hoping it would delay their reactions when he eventually strikes at Taiwan.

When we know what will happen, we should urge the democratic world to unite and defend a democratic Taiwan of 24 million people. Our party should push for the UK government to warn Xi that any attack across the strait would lead to the recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty. And if Xi’s actions place the whole region in a dangerous situation, I believe the UK government should be responsible for the safety of Hongkongers, including issuing immediate British citizenship for those born in the territories before the handover.

* Christopher is based in Hong Kong and is a member of the Lib Dems Overseas. (We have anonymised this author due to restrictions imposed in Hong Kong via the National Security Law.)

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  • Mel Borthwaite 28th Apr '23 - 6:52pm

    I realise this may be a minority view in the Party, but I understand why the Chinese government wishes to see reunification with those parts of China that were able to resist being taken over by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. The international community must make clear that China will lose so much if it seeks to achieve this by military force that it will decide to not resort to an invasion to achieve its objective.

  • The International Court of Justice was asked by the United Nations General Assembly to give its opinion on whether the Kosovan declaration of independence was in accordance with international law. This was the first time that an attempted secession had been the direct subject of a judicial process before the ICJ.
    The Court found that the declaration was not prohibited by international law, because no international law rule operated to forbid either such declarations in general or this declaration in particular. In so finding, the Court made a notable finding, that territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of inter-State relations, and that non-State actors are non bound by the prohibition on any action which would impair the territorial integrity of States.
    The declaration of independence of Crimea makes no direct mention of self-determination, rather premising its claim to authorisation on the judgement of
    the Kosovo advisory opinion.
    An attack on Taiwan would likely trigger a right to secede in extremis under the doctrine of remedial secession and recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty in these circumstances would be justified under International law.
    The CCP may well succeed in convincing the KMT to adopt a policy of reunification avoiding any armed conflict. In the absence of such political cooperation, strategic ambiguity (i.e. the status quo) probably remains the best option for both Taiwan and the CCP.

  • Andrew Tampion 30th Apr '23 - 8:16am

    I don’t know enough about the politics of either the Peoples Republic of China (AKA China) or the Republic of Chins (AKA Taiwan) so I can’t comment on the likelihood of an invasion or Taiwan’s will to resist. So I will leave that to people better qualified.
    However what this article overlooks is the risks of a failed invasion to China, to Xi Jinping and also to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). An opposed seaborn invasion is very risk and even with air and naval superiority is not guaranteed of success. If America defends Taiwan then neither air nor naval superiority can be assumed. Suppose an invasion is attempted on the same scale as the Normandy Landings and fail. There would be tens of thousands of Chinese casualties, many at sea and bodies washing up all along the southern Chinese coast for months. In addition thousands possibly tens of thousands of Red Army soldiers who did manage to land captured. Such losses could not be concealed.
    China is a tyranny. A catarophic failure on that scale could easily bring down the Chinese government, possibly the CCP itself. If that happened President Xi and the rest of the Politburo could easily find themselves hanging from lampposts in Beijing.

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