Amidst heightened tensions and military posturing between China and Taiwan, the outcome of the upcoming elections in Taiwan is anticipated to maintain the existing rivalry.
As Taiwan prepares for its presidential and parliamentary elections on 13 January, China has framed the choice as one between conflict and peace, reported The Hindu.
Any move towards advocating Taiwan's official independence is warned to lead to conflict, according to China.
The focus of China's ire in the lead-up to the elections is Lai Ching-te, the presidential candidate from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The DPP and Taiwan's prominent opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), both assert their commitment to maintaining peace while strengthening Taiwan's defenses.
Historically, the KMT has supported strong ties with China, though it denies being pro-Beijing.
Moreover, The Global Times newspaper quoted Wang Zaixi, a retired major general of the Chinese army, describing Lai as an "extremist" supporter of independence, emphasising the potential for military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait if he is elected.
Amidst these tensions, security officials from the West are closely monitoring China's potential military response to the election results.
The timing and intensity of China's reaction may depend on various factors, including the composition of Taiwan's parliament.
However, despite China's military activities escalating in the Taiwan Strait in recent years, defense experts suggest that Taiwan's strengthened defenses and challenges within the PLA could deter a comprehensive invasion in the near future.
Meanwhile, the US has committed to supplying Taiwan with advanced weaponry in the coming years, further complicating the regional dynamics.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!