Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have reached the point where the risk of conflict is the highest on record, according to the China Cross-Strait Academy, a think tank linked to the Chinese government.
The study center released a study this week in which it points out that Taiwan and mainland China are on the brink of war. The risk of conflict has been identified at 7.21, on a scale of -10 to 10. This is the highest index ever recorded since the start of the crisis, according to the South China Morning Post.
Based in Hong Kong, the China Cross-Strait Academy has conducted a current and retroactive analysis of the relations between Beijing and Taiwan, taking into account factors such as military strength, trade relations, public opinion, political events and the support from allies.
In the 1950s, Chinese nationalists who lost the Civil War left mainland China and focused on Taiwan. The communist state formed in 1949 considers the island to be a rebellious province. Today a democracy, the region has 23 million inhabitants.
For the think tank, the risk of conflict diminished in the 1970s, when the United States stopped recognizing Taiwan as the official government of China and resumed diplomatic relations with Beijing, and resumed growth in 2000. , when the Progressive Democratic Party came to power on the island.
The risk has further increased with the arrival of Donald Trump at the head of the United States. The Republican has taken an aggressive approach with Beijing and has sought to draw closer to Taiwan – and this proximity between Taiwanese and Americans may increase the risk of confrontation in the region.
“If the current trend continues, the unification of Taiwan by force [feita por Pequim] it will only be a matter of time, ”said Lei Xiying, head of the think tank and member of the Chinese Communist Party, according to the SCMP.
The United States, like most countries, does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is a major arms dealer for the island. Under the Trump administration, several US officials were sent to Taipei, the island’s capital, which was seen as a provocation by the Chinese.
If the region decides to declare independence – or make clear gestures in this regard – the move could lead the Chinese government to a military response. Small frictions, such as the unauthorized entry of foreign aircraft and ships into disputed areas at sea, occur with great frequency.
Last year, China tightened its grip on Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory, with a series of measures to silence critical voices and strengthen its citizens’ loyalty to the central government. This raised hopes that there could be a closer relationship with Taiwan as well.