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WorldAsiaXi Jinping urged "to fight boldly". What's behind these words

Xi Jinping urged “to fight boldly”. What’s behind these words


“At the annual meeting of China’s parliament and its highest political advisory body in March, Xi (Jinping) addressed the topic of war preparedness in four separate speeches, in one of which he called on his generals to ‘dare to fight’,” the magazine wrote. foreign Affairs March 29. RTVI’s special envoy Andrey Fedotov explains why such language does not indicate China’s plans to start a war in the near future and how belligerent statements are helping Beijing peacefully annex Taiwan.
The Foreign Affairs publication caused a stir in the media and telegrams, as it came out simultaneously with a new round of aggravation of the Taiwan question. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen passing visited United States and plans meet Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, while former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou for the first time I arrived to mainland China.

Tsai and Ma are the representatives of two opposing political currents in Taiwan. Tsai, being a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, advocates the proclamation of a new State of Taiwan and a military rapprochement with the United States. Ma of the Kuomintang party, on the contrary, calls for closer relations with China while maintaining the existing status quo.

How many times does Xi call to prepare for war

The previous large-scale media hysteria over “preparing for war” was in September 2022. September 21 Xi Jinping took part at a seminar on national defense and military reform, where he spoke of “the need to focus on preparing for military action”. Next, Xi used the phrase “聚焦备战打仗”, which literally translates to “focus on preparing for war”. Against the backdrop of growing contradictions between China and the United States over Taiwan in August 2022, these words have been reacted with particular acuity, although in fact the Chinese leader makes them regularly.
The same formulation was used by Xi Jinping in March 2019 at an event hosted by the Chinese military as part of the 2nd session of the 13th National People’s Congress. It is also found in Xi’s calls for January And FEBRUARY 2019, november 2020, March , July And august 2022.
Each time, the language is used in the same context: Xi Jinping, as chairman of the Central Military Council of the PRC and the Military Council of the CPC Central Committee, uses such aggressive language to remind his subordinates of the importance of reform. Chinese military reforms intensified after the 19th CPC Congress in 2017. Afterwards, the party and Xi announced the need to re-equip the armed forces by 2020, complete the process of modernizing the Army Chinese People’s Liberation (PLA) by 2035 and to reach the level of the United States by 2050.

Andy Wong/AP
The year 2050 is significant for China, as it is the year following the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. It is by 2049 that China intends to build a modernized socialist state and implement “Chinese dream” of reunification with Taiwan by peaceful or military means.
Similar statements are a traditional source of information for every session of the Chinese parliament, said Vasily Kashin, chief researcher at MGIMO’s Center for Global Sinology and Regional Projects, in a conversation with RTVI. “Meetings with Chinese People’s Liberation Army delegates are held at each session of the National People’s Congress, and at each meeting, Chinese leaders – not only Xi Jinping, but also his predecessors – deliver speeches on the importance of combat training, preparation for war.” In Xi Jinping’s speeches, such stamp formulas, which are used in CCP documents and speeches by leaders at different levels, have been found since 2013, the expert noted. “Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao used to make similar speeches regularly, which also spoke about ‘preparing for war’ with similar wording, but close meaning,” the expert summed up.

Why does China benefit from a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue?

Given the significant risks of a military invasion of Taiwan, it is unlikely that China will decide on this subject in the next ten years. These risks are:

Such an operation is extremely costly in military means due to the need for a large-scale landing, forcing the Taiwan Strait and piercing Taiwan’s air defense system, which is one of the strongest in Asia; Taiwan has allies in the form of the United States and Japan, which can at least support the island with weapon supplies, and at most directly join the conflict. The new AUKUS alliance of the US, UK and Australia can also provide support; The conflict will prompt an immediate response from the international community and will result in the imposition of sanctions by the US, EU, Japan and South Korea. India and ASEAN countries are also likely to restrict trade with China. Without trade and science and technology exchanges with developed countries, China’s economy and scientific development will simply come to a halt. Chinese domestic consumption demand is not yet large enough to fully sustain high GDP growth rates at the 5-6% level; Even if the landing operation succeeds and the Chinese economy survives the pressure of sanctions, the PLA will struggle to hold territory. Taiwan’s terrain is mountainous, making it difficult to control the island after its annexation. Partisan formations may arise, which will be very difficult to suppress.

And the most important reason is that China’s use of force against the same Chinese people on the island can finally cement the formation of a new Taiwanese nation in the minds of the people of the island. Among the population of Taiwan, there are those who truly consider themselves Taiwanese and not Chinese, but at the same time, there is a huge proportion of waverers who consider themselves ethnic Chinese. This group wants to maintain the status quo: Taiwan is autonomous vis-à-vis Beijing and de facto pursues its own policy, but does not declare total independence and recognizes a unique cultural space with the mainland. This state of affairs, although it does not fully correspond to Beijing’s tasks, does not provoke aggression on the part of China, since it gives Chinese officials hope that a peaceful resolution of the question of Taiwan will be possible. In the event of a military confrontation with China, this “hesitant” group of the population could turn into supporters of independence.

Chiang Ying-ying / AP
China is the most beneficial peaceful path to reunification with Taiwan. With a target date of 2049, Beijing has another 25 years to try to win the Taiwanese people to its side.
The show of force also has a psychological effect: constant reminders from Beijing of the possibility of war, active exercises in the Taiwan Straits and Chinese air force and navy operations in the “grey zone”. As a result, Taiwanese, fearing war with China, are less supportive of supporters of the island’s independence and the formation of a new state.

Actions in the “grey zone” are neat maneuvers or actions of force that do not lead to war or direct confrontation. Such actions are not significant enough to force the other side to retaliate, but they do promote the country’s presence at local and regional level and influence the other country. An example of a “grey zone” is the regular flights of PLA aircraft over the Taiwan Strait and the approach of Chinese aircraft to the boundary line of the strait, located in the middle between the mainland and the island.

The last regional elections in Taiwan, held in November 2022, showed how the actions of the PLA affect the people of the island. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sadly lost the election to the Kuomintang Party. Immediately after the announcement of the vote results, Taiwan’s chief administrative officer, Tsai Ing-wen, announced her resignation as chairwoman of the DPP.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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