Region of Concern: China; Taiwan; United States
Written By Claire Bracco; Edited by Cayla Lee and Jennifer Loy
Date: December 25, 2022
Event: On December 25, the Chinese military stated that it had conducted a series of strike drills in Taiwanese airspace. The drills were carried out in response to an alleged provocation from Taiwan and the United States. No location was specified, but the drills are the latest in a series of pressures towards Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty. China has once again specified its will to defend its territories from US influence, while Taiwan’s defense ministry declared their commitment to improve their military in accordance with the invasion threat.
Significance: China is very likely to launch new and more intense military exercises near Taiwan in the next year, aiming to demonstrate its capability to cut off and invade the island. Such exercises will also likely aim at testing the US’s resolve to defend Taiwan, exerting psychological pressure on the island. Because of the considerable financial consequences for China in case of an invasion, Beijing is likely to continue pushing Taiwan through economic pressure and a pro-nationalist narrative. This will very likely affect the public perception of Taiwanese society towards China. China is also likely to further limit cooperation with the US on a range of issues, including trade, and military issues. As the situation develops in the war in Ukraine and further sanctions are added on the chips industry, China is likely to expand its diplomatic relations with Russia, distancing itself from the US.
Recommendations: The US should continue weapons supplies to Taiwan to show support to the island and further deter China from an invasion. However, the US should also keep open lines of political and military communications, preserving cooperation with China on issues of mutual interest, such as trade and military issues. Taiwan should avoid responding to every breach of territory. The island should also consider investing more in innovative weapons and defense systems. The US should push for diplomatic negotiations between the two parties to avoid a conflict in the region. By showing its interest in the matter, the US will deter China from pursuing its aim through military means. Finally, the US should not, in any case, lower sanctions on Russia, as that would set a dangerous precedent and would be seen as condoning the invasion of sovereign territories.
 China stages 'strike drills' around Taiwan, citing provocation, Channel News Asia, December 2022, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/china-strike-drills-taiwan-citing-provocation-3167526