In a recent lecture at Stanford University, the U.S. secretary of state said that the CCP wants to accelerate reunification with Taiwan, which will cause serious global economic problems, as well as disruptions in the global supply chain due to uncertainty in semiconductor chip production.
Antony Blinken’s comments come on the sidelines of the 20th National Congress of the CCP, where leader Xi Jinping could be elected for a third term.
The host of the Stanford University conference in California on October 17, Condoleezza Rice, was the one who posed the questions to Blinken. The secretary of state reaffirmed the U.S. position on the Taiwan Strait and China. He emphasized that the U.S. intends to assist in maintaining peace between the two sides and also hopes that the Chinese Communist regime will not engage in confrontation with Taiwan.
Recently, the President Joe Biden’s administration released a National Security Strategy, which was delayed a few months due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, highlighting the CCP as one of the most important threats facing the country.
In addition, the U.S. government has imposed new sanctions on the Chinese semiconductor industry, one of the bastions promoted by Xi to improve the Chinese economy and achieve technological self-sufficiency by 2025.
These sanctions are hard blows for the CCP, as they prevent it from obtaining the semiconductors needed for several industries, such as the military, automotive and electronics, among others.
Blinken said that under Xi, “a different China is emerging,” and that the attitude toward Taiwan is now changing. He added, “Instead of sticking to the status quo that was positively established, [Beijing has made] the fundamental decision that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and Beijing is determined to pursue reunification on a much faster timetable.”
The Blinken warned that an attack on Taiwan, a major semiconductor producer, would damage the global economy. He said, “The amount of commercial traffic that goes through the [Taiwan] Strait every day and the impact it has on economies around the world is enormous. If that were to be disrupted as a result of a crisis, countries around the world would suffer.”
The United States will continue to support Taiwan defense, however, Blinken stated that Washington holds no position on the sovereignty over Taiwan.
At the latest Chinese Communist Party Congress that started on October 16, Xi made it clear what he wants for Taiwan. He said that Taiwan is an internal affair to be handled by the CCP. He added that the CCP will endeavor to resolve the issue peacefully but if that proves unlikely the CCP will use force.
In his speech, addressed to the 2,200 CCP delegates, Xi said China is on a path of “national rejuvenation,” and reunification with Taiwan is part of that path.
Xi added, “The complete reunification of our country must be achieved, and it is certainly achievable,” drawing cheers from CCP members for several minutes.
Analysts and China experts who had access to Xi’s speech commented that the Chinese leader was “moderate” on Taiwan, and that not much is known about China’s strategy for a possible reunification.
Since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit last August, the People’s Liberation Army increased military exercises near Taiwan. With Chinese fighter jets repeatedly crossing the maritime boundary between China and Taiwan.
Tension between the CCP and Taiwan escalated rapidly with PLA “gray zone” strategies involving drone raids over Taiwanese outer islands.
Recently, one such drone was shot down by the islands’ surveillance command. It was the first time the Taiwanese military shot down a Chinese drone from the mainland.
Will the CCP invade Taiwan?
There is much conjecture and speculation on the matter. At the last Chinese Communist Party congress, which was held five years, Xi stated that Taiwan should be “peacefully reunified” under “one country, two systems.”
A white paper published by the Chinese Communist regime, outlines ways in which Taiwan should be reunified with China. The paper indicates that the peaceful way should be taken, although it does not rule out “the use of force.”
However, although Xi mentioned the importance of Taiwan, several military experts and analysts pointed out that the Chinese military is not yet ready to advance on the island nation.
A report by the U.S. National Defense University mentioned that the PLA lacks adequate military training to carry out coordinated missions with the different forces in the military.
In addition, a longtime admiral in the U.S. Navy said that Xi knows that the PLA must prepare before advancing on Taiwan and that in six years, the PLA would be ready.
Adm. Philip Davidson said, “I worry that they’re accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order.” He added, “They’ve long said they want to do that by 2050, I’m worried about them moving that target closer.”
Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and the major impact to the world order of a possible invasion of the island, Blinken concluded that the United States must not “lose sight of the cooperative aspect” toward CCP.