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  • By The Financial District

China May Get Bloody Nose If It Invades Taiwan, Analyst Says

Even if Beijing rules out peaceful reunification, the risks that would accompany an invasion are very high. There is no guarantee of Chinese success if it invades Taiwan, even without direct US intervention.

Photo Insert: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen oversees naval drills.

China hasn’t fought an actual war for 43 years, since its failed invasion of Vietnam in 1979; although it has invested heavily in its military, it has had no opportunity to test its doctrine or technologies, James Palmer reported for Foreign Policy on August 11, 2022.

Despite Chinese claims that an invasion would be quick and easy, it would be an amphibious attack of an unprecedented scale against a Taiwanese opponent that has prepared for the scenario for decades—even if it faces its own morale and logistical problems.

Then there are the geopolitical risks of an invasion, most importantly the possibility of full-scale war with the United States. On the one hand, a faction within Chinese military academia genuinely believes invading Taiwan could demonstrate superior will and push the US out of the Asia-Pacific region.

There are certainly questions about how willing Washington would be to go to war and if it could defend Taiwan. On the other, no one in Beijing wants to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the world’s most powerful military—or for the world to end in nuclear flames.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Putting the US aside, an invasion of Taiwan would destroy China’s claims that it is a peaceful power—and with them Beijing’s relations with Tokyo, which has strong ties to Taipei. At least at first, a conquered Taiwan could not be sealed off from the world like Tibet or Xinjiang, where atrocities can remain somewhat hidden.

Even if China cuts off Taiwan’s internet, the island is high-tech enough to get out images of war or occupation that would damage China’s reputation.

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