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Author Explains Why Beijing Sees Taiwan as a Thorn in Its Eye

As the Chinese invasion of Taiwan seems inevitable according to experts, James Gorrie, author of “The China Crisis,” has laid out reasons why Beijing sees Taiwan as a thorn in its eye.

He said that as the Chinese regime is not a legitimate government, they rule out of fear and oppression.

Otherwise, he noted, “they wouldn’t have to have the security state, the surveillance state, the slave prison state that they have.”

As the island that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims as its own territory is not ruled the same way, it is strategic to the Chinese that Taiwan proves to the Chinese people that the CCP really isn’t necessary. “So it’s an ideological thorn side,” he contended.

Epoch Times Photo
James Gorrie (Courtesy of James Gorrie).

In terms of GDP per capita, the Taiwanese are doing much better than the Chinese in China, he noted.

According to statistics, China’s 2022 GDP per capita stood at $12,814, while that of Taiwan was $32,586.

“So it’s the antidote to the CCP. It’s their kryptonite,” Gorrie told “China in Focus” on NTD, the sister media outlet of The Epoch Times.

The mainland Chinese would then raise questions: “Why should we have to do what the CCP says? Taiwan isn’t, and they’re doing great. Why can’t we do that?” he noted.

Taiwan is also a critical source of the global production capacity for semiconductors, which “China must have them and the rest of the world needs them as well,” he said.

“So there’s a very strategic component that is undeniably there,” the expert noted.

From another perspective, according to him, Taiwan is a military ally of the United States, and one could arguably say that it’s the keystone to the U.S. Asia Security pact.

“And that impinges on the CCP’s prestige and their claim of being all powerful and unapproachable,” he said.

“The CCP and quite frankly, [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping has staked his reputation ‘reuniting China,’ right by bringing them to heel, first Hong Kong, and now the CCP wants to do the same with Taiwan. And that says, he’s basically made a claim this was going to happen,” he added.

Win Without a Shot

According to the expert, Beijing would prefer to take over Taiwan rather than launch a kinetic war.

“They’d rather take over Taiwan rather than a shot and they may give them some kind of special zoning, special treatment, promise, whatever they need to promise them. But I think that the ideal for the Chinese is, ‘Let’s just take it over without a shot. And we’ll let the U.S. declare war. Look them fire the first shot, crossing our blockade and see how well that plays.’”

Wider Asia-Pacific War

If Taiwan falls into the hands of China, he said, “it may well trigger a wider Asia-Pacific war.”

He pointed to Japan’s 2021 white paper, saying Japan had already declared back then that the country views its security as directly linked to the security of Taiwan.

“So it has intended to deter Chinese aggression there … Japan is already doubling their defense budget, they’re restructuring their military, they’re developing their own military-industrial complex. They have said they want to arm other nations in the region. The Philippines has said much the same,”  he added.

“So if a Taiwan invasion was successful, I would think that we could see a much wider conflict quickly.”

On the other hand, then the U.S. security assumptions underlying the region would get severely, severely damaged, according to him.

“I think there’s a demoralization strategy that the Chinese that Beijing is playing. They want to demoralize and have the Taiwanese and the rest of the Asia-Pacific think that the U.S. is no longer capable of defending them, much less willing to,” Gorrie said.

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