World War 3 fears grow as tensions ERUPT between China and US-backed Taiwan

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
By Paul Martin

AN EXPERT has warned that armed conflict between China and Taiwan is looking increasingly unlikely – and that US-backed Taiwan is militarily outmatched by its rival.

Wed, Jan 2, 2019

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday the island would not accept a “one country, two systems” political arrangement with China, while stressing all cross-strait negotiations needed to be on a government-to-government basis. Tsai spoke after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech earlier on Wednesday that nobody can change the fact that Taiwan is part of China, and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek “reunification”. Dr Graham Ong-Webb from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told Euronews that Taiwan’s military is “weaker” than China’s.

He said: “The context in which this is occurring has changed.

“China is economically more powerful than before – the military balance between China and Taiwan has tilted in China’s favour.

“Right now, Taiwan is coming to terms with a deteriorating military.

“With the help of American finance and equipment I think the Taiwanese should be able to beef up some defences.

“We’ve ended up in a situation today where taiwan is militarily weaker, one would argue, but at the same time we have a social demographic in Taiwan which has changed considerably.

“The Taiwanese youth of today feel quite strongly about self identity and independence.”

Tsai also urged China to understand Taiwanese people’s thinking and needs.

In a new year’s speech earlier this week, Tsai said China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.

China sees the island of Taiwan as a breakaway province that will be reunited with the mainland, but many in Taiwan are pushing to remain independent.

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