Will China move to annex Taiwan in 2024?

Since 1949, Taiwan has operated independently, maintaining its own constitution and elected leaders. China considers it a renegade province and seeks reunification, even through force if necessary.

The Kuomintang party (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) signed the 1992 Consensus, recognising “One China” with differing interpretations. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in power, rejects the consensus, deepening tensions.

President Tsai Ing-wen, advocating independence, resists Beijing, leading to increased military and political pressure. China’s President Xi Jinping emphasises reunification, proposing “one country, two systems.”

Despite Chinese interference, the DPP’s electoral success shows domestic rejection. Beijing’s non-military tactics include suspending communication and restricting tourism.

Following President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, the U.S. adjusted its Taiwan strategy. Despite tempered statements on defending Taiwan, Biden’s administration increased arms sales and diplomatic engagement, highlighting a strengthened American commitment to the region.

In the past 18 months, Taiwan-China relations have deteriorated significantly, with escalating tensions traced back to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2022 visit. The situation intensified when Speaker Kevin McCarthy met President Tsai in 2023, sparking vehement Chinese condemnation, fresh sanctions, military displays, and communication channel severance.

Heightening military tensions involve escalating Chinese drills near Taiwan, with incursions into its air defense zone raising the risk of conflict. The scale and frequency of exercises have grown significantly, including a record 103 Chinese warplanes near Taiwanese airspace on September 17, 2023.

Beyond aerial activities, Chinese aircraft carriers engaged in exercises near Taiwan’s east coast, historically under the U.S. military sphere. Despite this, Taiwan’s diplomatic win came in September with the unveiling of its domestically built submarine, equipped with Lockheed Martin torpedoes. This development showcases Taiwan’s resolve against Beijing’s pressure and its commitment to enhancing defense capabilities.

In this report:

  • Taiwan-China Tension Background
    • Taiwan-China relations: political, ideological, and military challenges 
    • US role in growing Taiwan-China tensions
    • Chinese drills and Taiwan military technology advancements
  • Assessment and 2024 Forecast
    • China’s strategic moves ahead of Taiwan’s 2024 elections 
    • China’s increasingly realistic drills 
    • The United States’ changing commitment to Taiwan 
    • Taiwan’s resistance and the global ripple effect 
    • Unravelling the potential for Chinese annexation of Taiwan  
China Taiwan tension 2024 forecast report mock-up

Continued in full report…

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