Tipping Point Quick Hits (05.19.23)
China vs. Taiwan, the decline of American religion, and a rise in executions
China Threatens to “Smash” Taiwan
Tensions are flaring again between China and Taiwan. On Tuesday, Chinas’s military said it is prepared to “resolutely smash any form of Taiwan independence” if the island democracy doesn’t submit to its demands. This comes at the same time the United States has ramped up military assistance to Taiwan by providing defensive weapons.
Here’s the full quote from China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei:
China’s People’s Liberation Army “continues to strengthen military training and preparations and will resolutely smash any form of Taiwanese independence secession along with attempts at outside interference, and will resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Tan said, in a reference to Taiwan’s closest ally, the United States.
Remember: China has long claimed Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to take back the island of 23 million people—by force if necessary. Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when China’s defeated Kuomintang government fled to the island after losing a civil war to the Communist Party.
China’s military threats against the island have been increasing the last few years. The country has the world’s largest navy, plus a major arsenal of ballistic missiles and fighter jets. The People’s Liberation Army has more than two million members, making it the largest standing military in the world. China has spent the last few months sending planes and warships into the vicinity of Taiwan.