China steps up threats to reclaim Taiwan

Between The Lines


China's rise as a great power it showing more and more attention towards reclaiming territory that long regarded as its own witness. Beijing's conduct in the south china sea. The east china sea hong kong the himalayan border with india. And of course. Taiwan fifteen chinese planes were detected flying into taiwan southwest air defense identification zone or on sunday taiwan's ministry of national defense said sunday's incursion involved twelve fighter jets to anti-submarine aircraft and reconnaissance plane. This comes less than twenty four hours. After the people's liberation army air force flew thirteen combat aircraft including chinese bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons into the same region that was from the south korean english language. Every rung account of china's recent intimidation of the lovely liberal democracy of nearly twenty four million people. now one of my guest today has warned the australian defence department. Beijing is highly likely to attempt to take over taiwan using all means short of war as early as twenty. Twenty four ponder that a chinese takeover of taiwan by twenty twenty four. Linda jacobson is the specialist who delivered this assessment to the morrison government. A few months ago linder is founding director and deputy chair of china matters and she joins us from finland. Hello linda welcome back to between the lines. Thank you for having me again. Tom and joining us in sydney. Is natasha qassam. A research fellow at the low institute by the natasha. Thanks for having me tom now. Linda recently published. China matter explores policy brief. Summarize succinctly or faces tom. We've been talking for a long time. That taiwan is possibly explosive issue in our region. I'm saying it again now. Because the president xi jinping has made it clear that contrary to his predecessors he does not think we can leave the unresolved political status of taiwan to future generations. He wants to see movement towards what the chinese say reunification of the mainland and taiwan during his lifetime. That's the first point. The second one is that as of late. Probably because of some of the recent events which you alluded to among others the pfc's actions in hong kong. There's been a lot of talk of war of outright military conflict between taiwan and the pfc. I think these media reports have the problem into the wrong perspective. I think it is unlikely that we will see outright war over taiwan's future but we are very likely to see beijing making a move which is a protractive extensive intensive campaign of pressure using all means short of war to bring the taiwanese political leadership to its knees and agree to negotiate nothing more without preconditions taiwanese leadership has already said they will negotiate. But the pfc wants to negotiate on the basis that there is only one china in other words in negotiations have to end in some sort of agreement about unification so that's in a nutshell is what the policy brief argues. We should appear for this kind of extensive intensive pressure campaign using all means short of a case. i'm not. She heard linda's assessment. There of the chinese threat to taiwan china's military invasion of taiwan's unlikely. Highly unlikely so expect by gene to launch a step by step coercion of taiwan using all main short of war to force taiwan's latest into negotiations to etc unification natasha. What's your response. I'm inclined to agree with linda that this kind of phased coercion with many policy measures that china can easily scale up is the most likely scenario are and we can already see that happening. We can already see china attempting to launch multiple cyber attacks in taiwan to economically co west taiwan to try to put pressure intensive media coverage and even to infiltrate some of those local level groups to try to tan politics in a different way in taiwan. All these measures today have been relatively unsuccessful. China made it very clear that they wa against the current president citing win and that they were going to punish the taiwanese for her. These kinds of measures only encouraged the taiwanese people the vast majority of which do not want to be a part of china to turn out in support and fight to when last year. And at the same time we've also seen the country really come together during this covid nineteen pandemic and we've seen a really incredible of trust in institutions and in that democratic system of government. In a way that perhaps we haven't seen in other countries so i'm inclined to agree with these being the right measures but on the other hand i would say that the military option very much remains on the table not perhaps in the short term but from china's the incredible buildup of the people's liberation army that we've seen over the past decade has very much been directed at a potential taiwan

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