Three chilling ways Xi could be forced to blitz Taiwan by storming ‘red beaches’ and ‘strangling’ island with warships

Three chilling ways Xi could be forced to blitz Taiwan by storming ‘red beaches’ and ‘strangling’ island with warships

DICTATOR XI Jinping could be backed into a corner and forced to blitz Taiwan, experts have warned.

Taiwan is holding its eighth presidential election – weeks after Xi delivered a chilling New Year message insisting “reunification of the motherland is inevitable”.

APChinese President Xi Jinping delivering a speech at the Navy HQ of the People’s Liberation Army[/caption]

APA Chinese fighter jet pilot takes part in military exercises around Taiwan[/caption]

Polls have closed and counting is underway with the result expected to chart the trajectory of Taiwan with China over the next four years.

China regards the self-governing island as part of its territory – and has vowed to take the nation by force if necessary, carrying out ever more regular invasion rehearsals.

Taiwan insists it is an independent nation after splitting from mainland China in 1949.

Chinese officials have described 2024’s election as a choice “between war and peace” in a chilling warning shot to Taiwanese voters.

The nation is feared to be a major flashpoint between the US and Beijing – with a potential invasion forcing the US to abandon the island or face a full-scale war with China that could spiral into World War Three.

Away from the conflict in Ukraine and Gaza, the eyes of the world are nervously watching the boiling tensions between the two nations in East Asia.

Although China insists it wants to use political and economic pressure to “reunify” with Taiwan – it has not ruled out the use of force.

And many observers believe Beijing will try to “strangle” the island using a blockade – while others suggest it will launch a large-scale military landing on Taiwan’s “red beaches”.

The consequences of such a move risk an escalation to full conflict and the terrifying spectre of nuclear war.

But experts warned that China could reach the terrifying moment in history where it feels they need to “act for its own survival”.

From China’s domestic woes to “provocation” from the West and the result of the US election, it’s feared Xi Jinping’s may be driven to pull the trigger.

Xi’s crumbling economy

The outlook for China’s $19trillion economy this year is looking bleak as mountains of debt, stalled growth, unemployment and a rapidly ageing population plague the world’s second-largest economy.

And Xi may consider invading Taiwan if the leader believes “his power is seriously diminishing”, Ashok Swain, professor of peace and security at Uppsala University, said.

He told The Sun: “The real concern for war doesn’t hinge on who wins the Taiwanese election, but rather on the performance of the Chinese economy.

“For the first time, Xi Jinping has openly acknowledged difficulties in the Chinese economy.

“The legitimacy of both the Chinese Communist Party and Xi himself largely derives from economic success.

“A serious economic downturn could compel Xi to safeguard his rule by attacking Taiwan.

“It’s not the Taiwanese election outcome but China’s economic performance that could dictate Xi’s decision to attack Taiwan.”

Ruby Osman, senior China researcher at the Tony Blair Institute of Change, agrees that Xi’s “legitimacy rests on being able to deliver better and better living standards”.

“And already that’s started to slip,” she told The Sun.

For China, Taiwan is the “prize that has evaded all leaders of the PRC so far”, Ruby said.

“The million-dollar question is whether legacy building comes into this,” she said.

“I think there is a personal sense of Xi wanting to be the one who oversees the reunification.

“As much as the Chinese state are passionate about ‘reunification’, they also know that invasion will come at such a huge cost to their own people.”

If Xi believes his iron first rule is threatened from within the Chinese Communist Party, it’s feared he may choose to start the war – and be the one to secure the “prize”.

‘Provoked’ by the West

General Sir Richard Barrons, the former head of Joint Forces, warned that Xi may be forced to act if it feels “provoked” – or a “swell” of public opinion pushes him into a corner.

Just this week, China told the US to “stop arming Taiwan” and said it needs to take Beijing’s concerns “seriously”.

Taiwan is a major flashpoint in the tussle between superpowers China and the US in Asia.

“We want to avoid a situation where the government of China feels it has to act because the swell of public opinion is saying, ‘you must act’,” General Barrons told The Sun.

“Or if it feels provoked by the West or the US. We need to avoid a point where the government of China feels it has to act for its own survival.

Xi may also choose to act if China “suddenly feels that Taiwan is a free shot, and that it could secure ‘reunion’ because Taiwan can’t resist, and the rest of the world will not respond”.

“That is currently very unlikely – but it does remind us of the connection between the way the West responds to what’s happening in Ukraine and in the confrontation with Russia,” General Barrons said.

The former army boss said China will “without a doubt” be closely watching the Ukraine war – and be learning that “success isn’t guaranteed”.

Beyond Russia, China will also be monitoring the current crisis in Gaza and the wider Middle East.

“If there were to be escalation from the current crisis in Gaza, both of those things would be indicators to China about whether it could or couldn’t get away with a surprise invasion of Taiwan,” General Barrons said.

US election result

With America committed to defending Taiwan, China will closely be watching the US elections – and who gets voted into the White House.

Kerry Brown, the director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London, said China’s increased anger at America’s friendly ties with Taiwan “is only likely to make it act irrationally”.

“Biden has three times said Taiwan would help Taiwan if attacked, rather than standing by the usual strategic ambiguity position, where it is unclear whether America would do anything or not,” he told The Sun.

“This is a situation with a lot of moving parts.

“A lot will depend on the outcome of various elections – and in particular the US election in November.”

He explained: “A candidate there who sticks by the ‘One China’ policy and strategic ambiguity, meaning support for maintaining the status quo, would make conflict a little less likely.

“A candidate who wanted to use Taiwan as a way of attacking and provoking China by recognising its independence would immediately escalate things. Then we are into a situation if spiralling risk.

“But an all-out war would be a catastrophe for Taiwan, for China, for America, and the rest of the world.

“Its consequences would be massively beyond the Russia Ukraine conflict.” 

Ruby, from the Tony Blair Institute of Change, added: “We’ve got the prospect of a second Trump term – and it’s a lot less clear what his commitment would be to Taiwan compared to the Biden administration.

“The thing that worries about me with a second Trump term is that he was very tough on China his first term – but all his issues were trade-based.

“They weren’t values-based, the same way Biden has been in terms of thinking about coming to the defence of Taiwan. I don’t think Trump has that same ideological affinity with Taiwan.

“That’s a little bit worrying.”

AP:Associated PressXi Jinping with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Navy fleet in the South China Sea[/caption]

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