US-China War Over Taiwan Will Be For Maritime Control

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  • The only reason for a potential war between China and the United States is over Taiwan.
  • Much of it has to do with maintaining naval supremacy.
  • Can it be avoided?

The US is a global superpower at sea, and would consider it “unacceptable” if China challenges it in that domain. But, while the US would not normally consider China a maritime threat, the two sides would not go to war over the South China Sea or the East China Sea – Taiwan is in a unique spot.

The Taiwan Dilemma

“To the Americans, Taiwan is a crucial link in maritime control over the whole of Asia, and for that reason they cannot let Taiwan go,” Prof Wang said . He went on to add “What the Americans could do is to continue to make Taiwan… more and more attached and dependent on the United States so that the Chinese can never take Taiwan…”

Prof Wang was part of a four-person panel that discussed Asia’s geopolitical headwinds and whether the region could see war. Beijing views Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, and has repeatedly said that it does not rule out force to do so if necessary. Taiwan, however, rejects China’s sovereignty claims and has, under President Tsai Ing-wen, increasingly fostered closer relations with Washington, galling Beijing.

Professor Chan said this situation can be traced back to 2015, when the US first began to view China as a “peer rival”. “The US came to the realization that China had amassed critical power – in the economy, in the military, in technology and soft power, as well as diplomatic clout,” she said.

Chances Of a War ?

In a straw poll of the summit’s attendees, more than 85 per cent felt that there could be war in North-east Asia in the next five years. But 84 per cent also felt that South-east Asia would stay neutral if a war broke out between China and the US. One critical solution is for the US and China to hold more dialogue, said Prof Chan, who spent 16 years in Washington as an ambassador.

If, indeed, war broke out, it would be disastrous for all, said American political scientist Graham Allison, in a pre-recorded interview that was screened earlier at the summit. This comes as China is expanding its nuclear arsenal as part of Beijing’s ambitious military build-up.

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Source: Straitstimes

 

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