The ongoing dispute has its roots in history dating back to 1949, but now it has been given new life amid ongoing Chinese military maneuvers and growing rhetoric on both sides
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Tensions between Taiwan and China have reached their boiling point as warnings of full invasion loom by 2025.
Taiwan celebrated its national holiday on October 10, just as it has done on October 10 every year for 110 years.
However, this year was a little more tense as it fell amid the ongoing escalation of tensions with mainland China.
The National Day came amid heightened aggression and rhetoric from both sides, with China flying fighter jets too close to what Taiwan perceives to be its airspace.
The situation is a product of over a century of history that includes the Chinese Civil War, World War II, and the overthrow of Imperial China.
What has led to the current situation?
The now-existing self-governing island of Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China (ROC), was formed in 1949 when the government that once ruled the entire nation fled there after the civil war with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the neighboring mainland or rules the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
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Taiwan’s National Day was full of memories of the history of the two governments and the long-standing disagreements between the two sides over the island’s sovereignty.
What is happening now?
Addressing the nation in the capital, Taipei, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen promised to strengthen the island’s military defenses, saying that its future “must be decided in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people.”
Their comments were made in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s statement that the PRC is committed to peaceful union with Taiwan, something it had violently announced in the past.
The Chinese Bureau for Taiwan Affairs said Sunday that Tsai’s speech had sparked tension and that Taiwan’s quest for independence would eventually close the door to inter-party discussion. Al Jazeera reported.
In Taiwanese airspace 10 days earlier, on PRC National Day, no fewer than 38 PRC aircraft, including military bombers and fighter jets, reportedly flew through the self-proclaimed Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
It was the highest day of the year at the time, raising fears that China’s determination to maintain what it believes to be a breakaway province is growing stronger.
This weekend, the PR China flew around 150 aircraft through ADIZ.
What do managers say about the situation?
Now, with tensions higher than they have been in decades, leaders around the world have begun to make the scale of the situation clear.
Taiwan’s defense minister told the China Times last week that he believed China was ready to launch a full-scale invasion of the island in three years.
Meanwhile, Mr. Xi said, “Taiwan’s independence separatism is the greatest obstacle to the reunification of the motherland and the greatest hidden threat to national rejuvenation.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that a small number of US troops had been deployed to train the Taiwanese armed forces, with the US pledging to defend Taiwan and its independence.
On October 6, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on China to stop its “provocative” actions near Taiwan.
However, US President Joe Biden said he and Mr. Xi had agreed to abide by the “Taiwan Agreement,” which officially recognized China, not Taiwan, while still allowing a working relationship with the island.