Jianli Yang – Oct. 27, 2021
The 110th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China comes at a time of unprecedented Chinese military provocations against Taiwan. The democratic island nation of Taiwan still largely uses the legal system and keeps the national title of the Republic of China. However, the authoritarian system that took root in Taiwan following the Chinese Civil War and the Kuomintang’s retreat to Formosa has long been overturned, and Taiwan has since undergone a comprehensive democratic transformation. Xi Jinping’s speech on October 10 (the National Day of the ROC) received so much attention because, as everyone knows, his remarks were directed mainly at Taiwan.
President Xi clearly identified China’s objective at the outset of his speech: “The Taiwan issue arose out of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation, and it will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality.” In other words, once China is strong enough, it will annex Taiwan. Xi Jinping has set a clear target for China to attain “great rejuvenation” by the year 2050, despite the obvious fact that he will no longer be in power by that time. As leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi is eagerly seeking to establish his place in history with the achievement of “reunification” with Taiwan, and he himself firmly believes that he is closer to accomplishing this historical feat than any of his predecessors. This is his legacy project. As a result, Xi feels a strong sense of urgency. His fourteenth Five-Year Plan and high-tech strategic pursuits indicate that he expects himself to remain in power until 2035. And before then, China must be strong enough to gain control over Taiwanese territory. This goal is clear.
Strategically, Xi Jinping cannot make such a statement explicitly, but it is readily apparent to even casual observers; this is “strategic tacitness.” If peaceful reunification fails, China will pursue reunification by force. Once the prescribed “time limit” has been reached, China will seek to annex Taiwan militarily. Prior to this “time limit,” China will strive to rapidly narrow its gap with the United States, or even surpass it, to the extent that China is… [Continue Reading]