The situation around Taiwan continues to escalate and more and more countries are watching developments. Countries such as the U.S. and Grait Britain are already developing a plan of action in case of an invasion of Taiwan by Chinese troops. China itself at the moment is limited to reconnaissance operations.
On April 30, two Su-30 fighters of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) entered the skies of Taiwan. This was reported by Taiwan News, citing the local Ministry of National Defense and the Liberty Times.
The fighters were in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone on Saturday, April 30. The incursions took place at 8:53 a.m. and 1:23 p.m. at an altitude of 9,800 meters. Aircraft were spotted northeast of the Dunsha Archipelago (Paracel Islands).
The fighters eventually turned back after the Taiwanese military put their planes in the air, sent radio warnings, and deployed anti-aircraft missile systems to track the targets.
In April 2022, Taiwan recorded 72 such incursions. A total of 78 cases of such incursions were recorded, and 348 Chinese aircraft crossed the airspace.
In this context, it is important to note the position of the U.S., which is betting on reducing the risk of war with China because of Taiwan, but readiness for war as a last resort.
The U.S. held high-level talks with Great Britain on how it could work more closely to reduce the likelihood of war with China over Taiwan and for the first time explored plans in the event of conflict. The sides also discussed what role Britain would play if the U.S. found itself in a war with China over Taiwan.
At the same time, the official position of the United States is as follows: “The United States recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government of China, there is only one China, and Taiwan is part of China.”
The official position of Great Britain also expresses solidarity with the constitution of the PRC: “Taiwan is a province of the PRC, Great Britain recognizes the government of the PRC as the only legitimate government of China. We do not deal with Taiwan’s authorities and we avoid any action that might imply recognition of it.
Chinese regulators recently held a meeting with the heads of Chinese banks on protecting foreign assets from possible U.S. sanctions. Officials held the meeting because of fears of U.S. sanctions in the event of military action in Taiwan. The meeting was attended by officials from China’s Central Bank and Ministry of Finance, as well as the heads of dozens of local and international lenders. Officials and participants did not mention specific scenarios, but a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is considered one possible trigger for such sanctions. China’s huge dollar holdings range from more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds to office buildings in New York City. Some bankers in attendance questioned whether Washington could ever afford to sever economic ties with China, given its status as the world’s second-largest economy, its huge stockpile of dollar assets, and its close trade relationship with the United States. It is difficult for the U.S. to impose massive sanctions against China, but the possibility has not been ruled out.
The Taiwan issue goes far beyond Sino-Taiwan relations and entails a host of aspects. Such a private issue could potentially affect the largest economic relations in the world – Sino-US trade relations. The introduction of Chinese troops into Taiwan entails a huge number of risks, and it is not yet clear whether China is willing to take these risks.