When will China invade Taiwan? – Xi Jinping cannot stop talking about war, is rapidly preparing China’s civilians and military for it, and is demanding that Taiwan submit to his communist state.
As the Chinese Foreign Ministry declared on the 15th of this month, Taiwan is “the core of China’s core interests.”
The people of Taiwan, who for the most part do not consider themselves “Chinese,” will not accept Xi’s annexation of their homeland, so they will have to take the island republic by force if they want to rule it.
This raises one of the biggest questions in the world today: When will China invade?
The Chinese plan to attack Taiwan
Xi, as President Joe Biden put it in an off-the-cuff remarks in June, is a “dictator.” Does China’s dictator within the Communist Party have enough power to order an invasion on his own? That is not clear.
However, I think he can get what he wants in Taiwan. As far as we know, Xi considers three main factors when planning an attack: the electoral calendar in the United States, internal political events in Taiwan, and his calendar based on the internal situation in China.
It is difficult to know which is the most important factor for the ambitious Chinese leader.
As an initial matter, Taiwan politics may be inhibiting Xi for the time being. Taiwan holds its next presidential election on January 13, 2024.
Vice President Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party leads by 16.8 points in a recent poll.
Lai largely leads because the opposition is split between two outspoken candidates — the Kuomintang’s Hou Yu-ih and the Taiwan People’s Party’s Ko Wen-je — and a possible third-party candidate, Terry Gou. To be sure, Beijing hopes that the three pro-China camps can decide on a single candidate opposing Lai, a supporter of a strong and independent Taiwan.
Therefore, an invasion is unlikely to take place until the opposition candidates agree. However, if Beijing thinks Lai will win, Xi will almost certainly increase the pressure on the island in a last-ditch effort to sway voters.
As one observer put it, the Chinese want Taiwan to “fear war.” A victory for Lai, which would certainly be a victory for the free world, could convince Xi to invade.
On the other hand, Xi no doubt thinks he can put pressure on Biden.
Unfortunately, Biden has been openly appeasing China in recent months, which could give Xi the idea that the United States would not defend Taiwan, at least before January 20, 2025.
Xi’s recent purge of the two top officers of the Rocket Force, the branch of the People’s Liberation Army that controls almost all of the country’s nuclear weapons, suggests that he wants to threaten the use of nuclear weapons to get a Biden-looking weak retire.
The last factor is internal. “My assessment is that external calendars do not sway Xi Jinping, whether it’s the Taiwanese or American election cycles,” Steve Yates, president of the America First Policy Institute’s China Policy Initiative, told 1945. “He is moved by his own vision of a modern cultural and geopolitical revolution that keeps the Communist Party in power and attacks its enemies.”
In Yates’ view, “the collapse of the Chinese economic system is the greatest threat to Xi and his chosen mission.”
China’s economy and financial system show signs of serious stress. The big real estate companies, mainstays of the economy, are defaulting on their payments; the currency collapses; stock prices fall; investors take money out of the country; companies leave Chinese soil.
On the 10th of this month, Biden proclaimed at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Utah that “China has problems.” At least Xi Jinping and the Communist Party are. Biden rightly called the country a “time bomb.” “They have some problems,” the president said. “That’s not good because when bad people have problems, they do bad things.”
Xi Jinping is bad everywhere, especially in China. He is blamed for the deteriorating situation, and as he has amassed almost unprecedented power, he has no one else to hold accountable. Furthermore, the cost of losing political fights has risen substantially during his tenure.
The Chinese ruler, therefore, must have a low-risk threshold. In other words, he now has an incentive to act recklessly.
Xi Jinping will soon have to make a decision. He can let alarming internal events sink him and bring down the Communist Party rule, or he can mobilize the Chinese people with war.
China is not ready to go to war, but in a perverse way that increases the chances that Xi Jinping will start it.
Because? Xi can see that the US is not ready because Biden thinks that an unprepared China will not go into battle. As everyone can see, there is a lack of urgency in the Oval Office and among the Pentagon’s top brass.
Biden does not realize that the Communist Party can decide, for various reasons, to go to war when it is not ready.
“For the past 40 years, the Chinese Communist Party has been preparing for a brutal war, and now the ruling organization is accelerating its plans,” Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center told me recently.
Yes, China can take the United States by surprise, and now a desperate regime has reason to do so.