“Die for Taiwan? It is very far, Taiwan. At NATO, the Europeans did not sign for that “

Mor to taiwan? The question, at first glance, seems absurd. How could one attribute to him the urgency which, from sad memory, the question presented “Die for Danzig?” “, asked in May 1939, by the pacifist deputy and future Pétainist Marcel Déat in the face of the Hitlerian threat?

Impossible, however, to say today that it cannot arise. The rise in tension between China and the United States is crystallizing more and more on this small island of 23 million inhabitants off the coast of mainland China, a sort of Gallic village populated by Chinese Asterix who claim their independence and cling to their identity as a democracy. The Taiwanese have the support of the United States; they seem fairly convinced that they will come to defend them – although no defense treaty obliges them to do so – if by chance the Communist regime in Beijing goes further than the multiple incursions and other demonstrations of force including the People’s Army of liberation regularly gratifies the air and sea areas of Taiwan.

Read also the editorial of the “World”: China-Taiwan: a threat to world peace

We must therefore consider all scenarios, and that of a Sino-American conflict that would erupt following an aggression led by China against Taiwan is not the most eccentric. The Minister of Defense of the Small Republic, Chiu Kuo-cheng, affirmed on October 6 that China, in full acceleration of its armament programs, would be able to invade Taiwan from 2025: “It is the most dangerous situation that I have known in forty years of military career”, he added. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen reminded Western democracies in a recent article in the journal Foreign Affairs, the stake of such a scenario: “If Taiwan fell, she writes, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the system of democratic alliances. This would be a sign that, in the global competition for values, autocracy would win out over democracy. “

Read also Taiwan president says island will not bow to pressure from China

It is indeed in these terms, moreover, that the Biden administration reasons in Washington, while in Beijing Xi Jinping continues to harden his posture. He has already brought Hong Kong to heel, sparking outrage in Western democracies – but little more. It is militarizing its presence in the South China Sea. In August, Chinese propaganda presented the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as a sign of weakness that bode badly for eventual support for Taiwan. “China will seek to test the American and Taiwanese determination to resist, while continuing to prepare for the great offensive,” warned at that time in The world Mathieu Duchâtel, expert on Asia at the Institut Montaigne. It can only achieve this by creating crisis situations. “

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