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Are China and the United States heading for war?

usA few weeks after the US president warned China on the Taiwan issue, Beijing vehemently refused, saying it would “firmly crush” any attempt at Taiwan’s independence. On Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe accused the United States of backing the island’s independence, saying Washington was “violating its commitments to Taiwan” and “interfering” with China.

“Let me be clear: if anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight,” he said at the Sangri-La Dialogue of the Asian Security Summit in Singapore. We will fight at any cost and fight to the end. That is the only way for China. ”

Ahead of the Chinese authorities’ remarks, US President Joe Biden said Beijing was “playing with danger” by flying warplanes near Taiwan. He has vowed to defend the island militarily if attacked.

Taiwan claims to be a sovereign state. But China has long claimed it as its own. But Taiwan considers the United States its biggest ally, and Washington has a law that would help the island defend itself.

At a time when China is increasingly sending warplanes to Taiwan’s air defenses, the battle of words has begun. Last month, China flew the largest fleet of the year. The United States has also sent ships through Taiwan’s waters.

As a result, the United States and China are heading towards a military conflict?

One big fear is that if China invades Taiwan, war will break out. Beijing has said in the past that it could reclaim the island by force if necessary. But most analysts say that’s not possible right now.

There is debate over whether China has the military capability to succeed in carrying out attacks, and Taiwan is strengthening its air and sea defenses considerably. But many agree that Beijing acknowledges that such a move would be too costly and disastrous – not just for China, but for the world.

William Chong, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said: China’s economy is more interconnected with the world economy than Russia’s.

China’s continued position is that it wants “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan. And that is what the Chinese defense minister reiterated on Sunday. The Chinese position is that they will take action only if they face provocation.

One of the fears of starting a war is if Taiwan formally declares independence. But Taiwan’s President Tsai Ying-wen has sternly avoided it, even insisting they are already a sovereign state.

Most Taiwanese support this position. The number of opponents of this position, known as ‘maintaining stability’, is also increasing. At present, a small group is saying that they want to move towards independence. Similarly, America is reluctant to get involved in a costly military conflict in Asia and has repeatedly indicated that it does not want war. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was also present at the dialogue. There, he said, the United States was not in favor of Taiwan’s independence, nor was it interested in launching a “new war of nerves.”

Colin Koh, a research fellow at the S Rajanatnam School of International Studies, said, ‘Both sides have their guns on Taiwan’s neck. They need to show tough, they don’t want to show themselves as backward or backward. ’He added,‘ But at the same time they are very aware of getting involved in a direct conflict. They are eyeing each other’s statements and both sides are trying to reduce the risk. ”

Analysts say the meeting of both General Wei Feng and Lloyd Austin at the sidelines of the Sangri-La Dialogue is a positive sign. Research Fellow Colin Koh said the reason was that both sides wanted to show that “they are still willing to sit down and talk about it, come to an agreement, and resolve the dispute.”

Colin Koh said the talks would probably lead to more effective talks between the two military forces. This will reduce the possibility of miscalculations at the field level. There will also be an overall ‘revival of the possibility of dialogue’, which was not possible during the Donald Trump administration. As a result, both China and the United States are expected to continue their rhetoric for the foreseeable future.

Dr Ian Chong, a China expert at the National University of Singapore, said China might escalate the “gray zone war” to undermine Taiwan’s military and patience. Such as sending more warplanes – or expanding planned misleading campaigns, he said.

Taiwan has previously accused China of running a false campaign ahead of the island’s election. And important local elections are set to take place on the island later this year.

At least for the United States and China, for the time being, “there is no political will to change their position,” especially in the face of significant events. The midterm elections in the United States in November and the 20th Communist Party of China Congress in the second half of the year. President Xi Jinping is expected to consolidate power this year

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