Tensions Between China and Taiwan Reach Boiling Point as Beijing Issues Military Threats


Tensions between China and Taiwan are escalating, with Chinese officials issuing thinly veiled threats of military intervention and asserting Beijing’s claimed sovereignty over the self-ruled island. According to Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye, Taiwan’s government is a “rebel regime” and China has the right to “expel” it and reclaim governance at any time.

The diplomatic row is centered around Taiwan’s growing assertiveness in asserting its independence and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s frustration with the newly elected Taiwanese President Lai Ching Te. China has unveiled new laws imposing harsh penalties, including the death penalty, on “Taiwan independence diehards.”

“The sharp sword of legal action will always hang high,” said Sun Ping, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, last week.

Lu blamed the United States for “compromising” prospects for peace in the region by supporting Taiwan’s democracy. He alleged that Washington’s intentions are motivated by a desire to maintain its global dominance and contain China. Taiwanese officials, in turn, accused Beijing of pursuing a “lawless” campaign against Taiwan, with President Lai stating that democracy is not a crime and that Beijing has no right to punish Taiwanese citizens for their political beliefs.

As tensions escalate, concerns are growing that Beijing may consider military intervention to achieve its goals. However, the prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan remains unclear, as it is still uncertain whether Xi’s government feels compelled to take decisive action or will rely on a strategy of gradual erosion of Taiwan’s autonomy.

Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke is a foreign affairs reporter, with an emphasis on U.S. competition with China and Russia, Middle East policy following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and the crisis in Venezuela. Previously, he covered domestic politics for National Review Online.

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