Since the beginning of the formation of Taiwan, it has been referred to as a controversial state. Many countries refrain from recognizing Taiwan as a state.
Recent activities such as growing military tension and the trade war between the US and China around Taiwan has raised a ‘sense of fear’ said Japan in its defence papers. Japan marked this rivalry among two superpowers over Taiwan as ‘an increasingly urgent issue’ on Tuesday.
Japan, in its annual defence white papers approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet, for the first time mentioned the situation of Taiwan in an official statement.
The defence paper highlighted China’s growing strength in a statement that said, “The overall military balance between China and Taiwan is tilting to China’s favour, and the gap appears to be growing year by year”.
Taiwan: A Constant Point of Struggle
Taiwan is viewed as a constant point of struggle in the Pacific region. Taiwan’s condition is becoming more and more alarming with each passing day which also endangers the peace of the particular area. “As China rapidly enhances its military power, changes in the military power balance between the United States and China may affect the peace and stability of Indo- Pacific region”, reported the defence papers.
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, Taro Aso, even asked Washington to help Japan safeguard and protect Taiwanese sovereignty. Aso’s comment was not very much appreciated by China, whose foreign ministry spokesperson said that it “harmed the political foundations of China-Japan relations”. Later Aso clarified his statement that he only meant that any contingencies over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogues.
On April 12, the Taiwanese government confirmed that the most significant number of jets flew into its defence zone this year. The stats prove how China has been slowly advancing to take control over Taiwan.
China has always considered Taiwan to be its province and. On many occasions, China vowed to retake Taiwan either by dialogues or by force, if necessary. On Tuesday, the China Foreign Ministry spokesperson pointing towards the Taiwan issue said, “China must and will be reunified. A complete reunification of China is most beneficial to regional peace and stability”.
Difference of Opinion Between Political Stalwarts
The People’s Republic of China (PRC), while considers Taiwan to be its part, the people of the Republic of China (ROC), called Taiwan, has entirely different opinions.
Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was elected to government with a majority of the votes. The party’s ideology is to safeguard the sovereignty power of the state. In the polls conducted in March 2021, Taiwanese people supported the DPP government’s approach. While many Taiwanese said, they felt more like Taiwanese than Chinese.
Even after so many tries, China remains adamant about making Taiwan a part of its country. China’s strategies are always countered by the United Stated who has always come upfront in supporting the cause of Taiwan.
On Wednesday of this week, a Chinese navy vessel was seen on the east coast of Taiwan. A few moments later, a US Navy destroyer was also located in the same area. The recent activities of Beijing around Taiwan are questioning the actual intentions of China.
A Look into the Military Trends of Two Superpowers
“It is necessary to pay greater attention to the military trends of the two superpowers in both Taiwan and the South China Sea”, said the defence paper.
Japan concerns seem to be arising from the fact that China has been increasing its economic and military strength, and Japan lies near Taiwan. Any problem or possible war in the region would lead to significant superpowers and endanger Japan.
Japan has never recognized Taiwan formally as a state because China stops dealing with such countries. But it has always maintained good relations with Taiwan through non-government channels. It has also come in its support in times of need has helped Taiwan in any crisis. Taiwan also reciprocates this help of Japan often.
In between all of this, Beijing called Japan’s defence reports ‘extremely erroneous and irresponsible’ when its President was seen pledging the complete unification of China with Taiwan this month.
The possibility of war amid economic and military tension between the US and China can be very much seen. However, the decisions of both these superpowers would only determine what will happen next.