The Taiwan Strait is a ‘powder keg’ that could trigger a world war, warns a military expert


The Taiwan Strait is a “powder keg” that has the potential to spark a world war, a military analyst said Tuesday when a panel of experts met to discuss US foreign policy from a Taiwanese perspective.

A Chinese aircraft carrier task force led by Liaoning it is currently conducting what Beijing has called a “routine” combat exercise in eastern Taiwan, while the US military monitors the drill in the Pacific and deploys the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea.

These are signs that the United States, China and Taiwan are caught in a “vicious cycle” as tensions continue to rise in the region, according to Ma Chen-kun, a professor at the China Graduate Institute of Military Affairs Studies at the National Defense University at Taoyuan in Northeast Taiwan.

Ma made the remarks while appearing on a four-person panel organized by the Prospect Foundation, a Taipei-based think tank that investigates cross-strait relations and advises the government, the Taiwan Central News Agency reported.

The Taiwan Strait now resembles the Balkans before the outbreak of World War I, Ma added, saying that the “window for peace,” a non-violent resolution for China-Taiwan relations, was being made every time. smaller.

“Although no country intends to start a war, the powder kegs of war are scattered throughout the Taiwan Strait and the surrounding region,” he said.

His comments came on the day that the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense reported four incursions by People’s Liberation Army aircraft into the island’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), a self-declared buffer that is not regulated by law. international. Monday, like Liaoning and five accompanying Chinese warships entered the Western Pacific, the PLA flew 10 combat aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft to the ADIZ.

Chinese fighter jets blared Taiwan’s air defense radars for a total of 18 days in March and have done so for four consecutive days in April so far, according to the Defense Ministry website.

Tuesday’s panel, which discussed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visits to Asia and Europe, included Li Shih-hui, a professor at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei.

Blinken’s foreign visits to Tokyo, Seoul and Brussels, the new administration’s first diplomatic calls, demonstrated President Joe Biden’s foreign policy strategy of restoring the common interests of the United States and its allies, Li said.

By prioritizing its competition with Beijing and doing so from a human rights and security perspective, the Biden administration had created a contrast between the United States and China, highlighting the latter’s threat to regional order in Asia, the professor added.

The strategic importance of Taiwan has risen on the agenda of the discussions between Washington and Tokyo, said Li, who works in the NCCU’s Japanese Studies program. The island’s increased visibility on the international stage was a “diplomatic breakthrough,” he added, but said it had dragged Taiwan into the biggest battle between the United States and China for supremacy.

Despite the support it has received for its technological advancements and human rights achievements, Taiwan needed to be agile and flexible to face the strategic challenges that lie ahead, Li concluded.

Amid warnings from Beijing, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday stressed the importance of Taiwan’s peace and stability in the region. He said he looked forward to working with President Biden to reduce cross-strait tensions.

“It is important that Japan and the United States cooperate and use deterrence to create an environment in which Taiwan and China can find a peaceful solution,” he said in a television interview.

Suga and Biden are scheduled to hold a summit in Washington on April 16, according to the White House.

The two leaders will reportedly mention cross-strait peace as a mutual concern in a joint statement to be released following the Biden administration’s first in-person visit by a foreign leader.

The outer Kinmen Islands of Taiwan, in the foreground, lie less than 3 miles from the deep-sea port of Xiamen, a city in east China’s Fujian Province. The Taiwan Strait, just 80 miles wide at its narrowest point, separates China and the main island of Taiwan.
An Rong Xu / Getty Images

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