World holds breath as China's invasion date for Taiwan predicted: 'We are scared'

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The news comes as Beijing steps up its military presence in the area, with a plethora of fighter jets flying near the island in recent times. Furthermore, China has named its massive new aircraft carrier “Fujian” after the province closest to Taiwan on the Chinese mainland, sparking fears that plans for an invasion are drawing near.

Speaking of the anxiety being felt by some companies, one international relations expert specialising in China, Danil Bochkov, took to Twitter to share his views.

He said: “Anxiety about Taiwan has risen rapidly over the past two years as China has flown more and more warplanes near the island.

“Some companies became concerned after the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, in March 2021 said China could take military action against Taiwan by 2027.”

This concern was backed up by Financial Times US-China correspondent Demetri Sevastopulo who also wrote on Twitter: “Many companies are seeking briefings about the risk of a Taiwan war – with a big spike since the Ukraine invasion.”

Eric Sayers, head of the Indo-Pacific practice at Beacon Global Strategies, said China’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong coupled with the Ukraine invasion had “rapidly accelerated” the fears.

He added: “A year ago, Beacon would occasionally be asked a question or two about Taiwan from our clients.

“We are now being asked to brief CEOs directly on Taiwan politics and the military situation, and to organise meetings with senior US officials or retired military leaders to understand how they view the situation.”

Another took the argument further saying some companies are in fact scared of the situation.

Zack Cooper, an Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said the recent “huge interest” in Taiwan was coming from companies with longstanding interests to those that were new to the issue and “now scared”.

Speaking to the Financial Times, he said: “A lot of companies just assumed that a major conflict involving a big country was unlikely, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine invalidated that assumption.

“Now the question is what other big country might have a serious military contingency and a Taiwan Strait crisis is the obvious connection for many people.”

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Already the Russian invasion of Ukraine has proven the consequences of the conflict spread further than simply the devastating loss of life and destruction of property.

The Black Sea has become the focal point of millions of tonnes of wheat and grain stuck in Ukrainian ports as blockades by Russia prevent the vital commodity from being shipped globally.

In fact, so bad is the situation, that the knock-on effect is said to have already contributed to levels of global hunger rising due to shortages of bread and food staples in developing countries, sparking some to label the blockade as a war crime.

A similar situation in the Straits of Taiwan or the South China Sea, should Beijing impose military force on Taipei, could see global supplies plummet as China take control of the vital logistical supply route.

With China’s economy fast approaching the US as the world’s largest, many predict Beijing could surpass Washington by the year 2024.

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Although China has remained relatively neutral in making a stance about the Russian invasion in Ukraine, some experts believe the war is having a direct impact on the Chinese economy as trade with Russia slows as a result of western imposed sanctions on Russia.

Some have argued China will grow wary of such economic losses, and step in to attempt to broker a cease-fire and end the war.

However, others argue the Russian move on Ukraine has emboldened China to do the same to Taiwan.

In a recent meeting between senior defence officials in Singapore last month, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said China would go to war over Taiwan following a warning by US Defence chief Lloyd Austin to Beijing not to stir “provocative” action over Taiwan.

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With the economy, a key factor, the fear of a financial crash remains high, as summed up by Dale Buckner, chief executive of Global Guardian who said he had been approached by seven Fortune 500 companies for help in making contingency plans for Taiwan, including how to evacuate staff from the island if necessary.

He said three of the seven were in the technology industry and were “brands that you’d know.”

He ended: “They’re scared, to be frank.”

Follow me on Twitter @JamesLee_DE for more Defence and Security News



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