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Date: 2022-07-01 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00021068

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Telegraph Dispatches

Telegraph Dispatches for October 6th 2021

Taiwan honor guards perform during a national day rehearsal in Taipei. CREDIT: ANN WANG/REUTERS

The lead story is about China and Taiwan, not a good sign. China may be looking at the world and drawing the conclusion that the confusion in the West may be a good time to address more local ... to the Chinese ... issues. Hong Kong has been brought to heel without much push back from the West and the West has been embarrassed by the chaos of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Much of the West is also in some sort of turmoil because of social issues, political issues, economic issues, climate issues not to mention issues like Brexit. While China looks like it is in a strong position, maybe things are not quite as rosy as they first appear. The financial strength of Hong Kong has been helpful to China for the last 30 years, but this strength may not be meaningfl any more, and the Chinese financial system may be a lot weaker than it needs to be. This is going to be aggravated by massive economic distortions internally in China especially in the building and construction sector. There is likely to be more economic aggravation in China when the West addresses its own issues with fragile supply chains as it is starting to do. China has a very large population and within this population there are both those that have been successful during the last four decades and those that have been left behind. China needs robust economic growth in order to keep all the population reasonably content and this is going to be increasingly difficlt especially if global trade starts to slow down as it probably will in coming years. It is going to be interesting and maybe catastrophic if China concludes that the solution to its domestic socio-economic problems can best be solved by using what I think of as the as the Argentian Maldives Strategy ... that is for leaders in political difficulties to start a war in order to divert attention from local problems with the expectation that the world (in the Argentinian case, the British under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, would avoid conflict and concede quietly.
Peter Burgess
Telegraph Dispatches Unsubscribe 8:05 AM (21 minutes ago) to me View in browser Wednesday October 6 2021 The Telegraph Why China could soon invade Taiwan

China-sending-warning-messages-21069-a.jpg Taiwan honor guards perform during a national day rehearsal in Taipei. CREDIT: ANN WANG/REUTERS

Talking Point By Venetia Rainey, ASSISTANT FOREIGN EDITOR

TAIWAN | Could China invade Taiwan in the next three years?

That’s what the Taiwanese defence minister believes.

Chiu Kuo-cheng warned today that Beijing will be capable of mounting a “full scale” invasion of the Pacific island by 2025.

He said tensions between Taipei and Beijing were at their worst in decades and that the risk of an accidental “misfire” was growing.

'For me as a military man, the urgency is right in front of me,' said Mr Chiu.

His comments come off the back of four days of unprecedented displays of Chinese aggression near the island.

This morning, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan is holding talks with China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland to discuss Taiwan, among other things.

So what’s going on?

Beijing has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan, but under leader Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has become more and more bellicose in its pursuit of unifying what it sees as one greater China.

Following a sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong that removed much of the autonomy the city previously enjoyed, it now seems to be turning its gaze across the Taiwan Strait.

For the international community, it’s a fine line to walk.

In order to work with Beijing, most countries have renounced official ties with Taipei, instead maintaining an informal diplomatic relationship and helping to police international waters.

But an invasion by China would be impossible to ignore, especially for the US, Taiwan’s main arms supplier and security guarantor.

President Joe Biden today said that he has “made clear” to Mr Xi that Beijing should stick to the “agreement”, presumably meaning leaving Taiwan alone – but he was worryingly vague.

This sort of ambiguity has worked so far, but for how much longer?

Also on our radar: Graphic footage of torture in Russian prisons has sparked a rare investigation. Could this finally prompt a clean up?

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