Agency: The self-ruled island has moved to the heart of U.S.-China tensions. The saber rattling between the superpowers could ignite a military conflict and, ultimately, reshape the regional order.
“Nobody should underestimate the staunch determination, firm will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi Jinping, China’s leader, said on Saturday, almost a week after dozens of Chinese warplanes tested Taiwan’s beleaguered air defenses.
China’s growing military might has made a conquest conceivable, but few believe it is inevitable. The economic and diplomatic aftershocks would be staggering for Beijing.
Analysis: The U.S. wants to thwart any invasion but has watched its military dominance in Asia erode. In October 2020, when the Pentagon simulated a war game, the American team struggled against new Chinese weaponry.
Brinkmanship: Many Chinese officials believe that U.S. power has faltered as the country continues to limp through the politically divisive and economically devastating pandemic.