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What Could Push China to Invade Taiwan

MIN READSep 20, 2022 | 16:09 GMT

A Taiwanese military UH-60 black hawk helicopter takes off during a live-fire drill on Aug. 9, 2022, in Pingtung, Taiwan.

A Taiwanese military UH-60 black hawk helicopter takes off during a live-fire drill on Aug. 9, 2022, in Pingtung, Taiwan.

(Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

China is unlikely to invade Taiwan in the next 5-10 years, but several drivers could change Beijing's reasoning and push China toward a more aggressive strategy. Based purely on a strategic cost-benefit analysis of everything from economics and politics to technology considerations and alliance dynamics, it seems likely that Beijing will delay an invasion of Taiwan for years, if not decades. In the meantime, Beijing will attempt to coerce Taiwan into giving up its dreams of sovereignty and to convince the West that conflict over Taiwan is not worth the trouble. If myriad geopolitical drivers push China toward escalation, however, China could wield such coercive tactics as widespread cyber attacks against Taiwan, a de facto blockade of Taiwan's ports (an extended version of the military drills that followed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit in August), a trade war targeting Taiwan's non-electronic exports, or restricted trade in essential goods with...

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