Will China invade Taiwan?

kkwan82 asked this question on 8/13/2000:

Hello. I would like to know how the US Government (high government officials) currently views the country People's Republic of China. How do they view China's government and economy. Any opinions or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks very much!

Kenneth S. Kwan

stevehaddock gave this response on 8/13/2000:

The United States has very good official relations with China, although there is controversy in the American legislature about this due to China's human rights record.

The United States recognizes the government at Beijing as being the government of all of the Chinese people, and has since 1973. The U.S. also has no problem with Beijing representing China at the U.N. The U.S. has full dimplomatic relations with Beijing. Although the U.S. had good relations with the Taipei government (Taiwan) until that time, it has not recognized the Taipei government as even having authority over Taiwan and Taiwan now has no representative at the U.N., where before 1973, Taipei sent the Chinese Ambassador to the U.N.

The United States has also given China trade status as a "Most Favoured Nation". This means tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States are as low as possible. The Americans are hoping that the Beijing goverment will open up the mainland China market to American goods.

However, all is not perfect. With the fall of the Soviet Union, many smaller countries who do not want to have relations with the United States have turned to China instead. Yugoslavia/Serbia has done so recently. The Chinese see the new U.S. missile defence system as being directly aimed at their nuclear capability. Moreover, the status of Taiwan will probably bring relations between the two countries to a head, especially if Taiwan's move towards full democracy continues.

megatonpwer asked this question on 7/7/2000:

What are the odds of Mainland China using force against Taiwan and when?

stevehaddock gave this response on 7/13/2000:

I agree with U Recall, with the following provision.

The rhetoric of the People's Republic with respect to "reunification", may eventually force their hand on this matter. However, China would need at least five years to equip and plan an invasion of Taiwan, which is fairly distant from the mainland, is well protected militarily, and has a substantial population. As such, you would probably see a lot of increased tensions between the two over a long period of time before anything actually happens.

JesseGordon responded:

... [1. One-China policy. 2. Taiwan's army is no slouch]

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