Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Beijing [China], June 28 (ANI): China is forced to toe a cautious line on its plan to annex Taiwan after seeing the global condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

As per HK Post, China finds it difficult to use the Ukraine template for the Taiwan invasion as it may end up paying a heavy price- militarily, economically and diplomatically.

But it has not deterred Beijing from its intentions to take control of the island nation. It has continued with its regular practices of mounting pressure on Taiwan through military threats, psychological warfare, and economic coercion.

In the recent few days, China carried out ballistic missile tests, and sent a large sortie of warplanes into the Taiwanese airspace, apparently in response to the US, rejecting China's claims on the Taiwan Strait. Several other such actions by Beijing reflect its aggressive stand on the Taiwan issue.

However, all this is drawing major military and economic powers into the Taiwan Strait conflict, many extending their active support to Taipei. Thus, it would not be easy for China to attack Taiwan on the lines of the Ukraine conflict, reported The HK Post.

Amid strong opposition from the US and its allies, China has been treading cautiously. It is testing waters to gauge how the west block would react in case it attacks Taiwan.

It has been sending its warplanes inside Taiwan's airspace to provoke Taiwan and to put the ageing Taiwanese air fleet under constant stress.

In the third week of June, as many as 29 Chinese jets and bombers made an incursion into Taiwanese territory. Taiwan has shown great restraint though the military harassment by China is unsettling the Taiwanese people.

Beijing is well aware of the fallouts and collateral damages in case it takes direct military action against Taiwan. Thus, it has resorted to "cognitive warfare", in which Taiwanese citizens are wooed using the same Chinese identity, reported The HK Post.

Social media platforms and technological solutions are used to spread misinformation to cause social unrest and lower people's morale.

China's cognitive warfare managed to generate fear and defeatism as well as disturbed trust and solidarity in Taiwan, said Alexander Huang Chieh-cheng, a professor at Taipei-based Tamkang University. But Taiwanese agencies managed to thwart these threats effectively through a series of actions.

Taiwanese people are against the idea of reunification with mainland China as over 80 per cent rejected the "One China" principle. Although cognitive warfare has seen China pumping a huge amount of resources, it has failed to produce desired effects, and the intended reunification could not be done without military action.

Moreover, Chinese President Xi Jinping has permitted military operations outside China's borders in the backdrop of Beijing making claims over the Taiwan Strait.

The US too is changing its strategy. Although the US maintains "strategic ambiguity" over the Taiwan issue, the American President Joe Biden has clarified that it would support Taiwan in case of a Chinese attack, reported The HK Post.

Biden administration is helping Taiwan to boost its self-defence capabilities. A new US legislation, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, sends a clear message to China not to treat Taiwan as same as Ukraine.

Other western powers such as France and the UK have warned China against any misadventure in the Taiwan Strait.

Japan too has expressed concerns over Taiwan and decided to acquire a pre-emptive strike capability as any conflict in Taiwan Strait would draw it in naturally.

Moreover, China is starting an economic slowdown. Thus, undertaking military operations to annexe Taiwan would not be easy for China. (ANI)

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