Does China want to start a war with Taiwan?

Taiwan keeps its cool but risks losing patience one day. ” The China has been belligerent and undermined regional peace while engaging in numerous acts of intimidation ” the Taiwanese prime minister launched on Saturday morning, October 2.

The accusation came after the two largest incursions by Chinese military planes in two days (93 nuclear-capable fighter jets and bombers) into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz). On Monday 4, 68 planes also flew over the Adiz. Such incursions by Chinese aviation in this area are more and more worrying, by their frequency and especially by their scale.

“The objectives of these forays into Adiz are numerous, explains Antoine Bondaz, China specialist at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS), testing Taiwanese air defense, discouraging the population and testing international reactions… but also inducing strategic uncertainty. Because what will happen if, tomorrow, 40 Chinese planes enter Taiwanese airspace for a few seconds? “

If in 2020, a record year, there were 380 incursions by Chinese planes into the Adiz, we are already at nearly 500 in October for the year 2021. “And these exercises are accompanied by warlike rhetoric in the Chinese media, which exaggerates their scope and significance”, Paul Charon analyzes in the report of the Strategic Research Institute of the Military School (Irsem) on “Chinese Influence Operations” in the world. And to quote an editorial from Global Times, the English-language daily of the Chinese Communist Party of 2020, presenting these incursions “Not as a warning but as a repeat of the takeover of Taiwan” by the Chinese military, which would seem inevitable.

“Xi Jinping pledged to reunify Taiwan, analyzes the French sinologist Jean-Pierre Cabestan in his latest book (1) and rumors are rife in China that Xi plans to forcibly reunify the democratic and de facto independent island in 2022, just before the XXe congress of the Chinese Communist Party, precisely scheduled for the fall of 2022. “

Thus this escalation of Chinese military provocations, which occurs before the Taiwanese national day, October 10, fits perfectly into this logic of permanent harassment. It remains to be seen whether this strategy is a real, well-prepared invasion project or a bluff. For Jean-Pierre Cabestan, the risk “Armed incidents and even military crises” is real, but “War is probably not for tomorrow”.


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