Tensions in the Pacific: China may soon annex Taiwan, say politicians and pundits. The timing is still disputed

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assumes that China will annex Taiwan under President Xi Jinping on a "much faster schedule".

Tensions in the Pacific: China may soon annex Taiwan, say politicians and pundits. The timing is still disputed

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken assumes that China will annex Taiwan under President Xi Jinping on a "much faster schedule". At the same time, he again warned of global economic disruption should the island state be taken over. The German Federal Intelligence Service has already made a similar statement. China's basic attitude towards Taiwan has not changed. However, the Taiwan question remains "very urgently on the agenda" for the Chinese government and is one of its "main priorities," said BND President Bruno Kahl on Monday at a public hearing in the parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag.

With their statements, Blinken and Kahl refer to an opening speech by Xi Jingping on Sunday. At the Communist Party convention, which meets twice a decade, the Chinese head of state said his country would "never commit itself to renouncing the use of force" on the Taiwan issue. Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland - if necessary with military force.

From China's point of view, this problem must be solved, said Kahl. "The only question is how fast." He currently has no indication "that something has changed there". The BND is therefore monitoring the week-long party conference very closely with a view to “what will result for us from the Chinese threat in the coming months and years”.

In recent years, China has intensified its attempts to intimidate Taiwan. The last highlight in this context was the visit of US spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, who had traveled to Taiwan. In response, China had held a major military exercise around Taiwan's main island and repeatedly invaded Taiwan's air and sea space.

Despite concerns from the American side, it remains unclear when an annexation could take place. Beijing has repeatedly made it clear that it wants to take over Taiwan. However, forecasts vary over the schedule. According to a report by the British "Guardian", senior US and Taiwanese military officials have warned that the People's Republic of Taiwan could annex within a few years. Analysts consider the year 2049 to be more realistic - that is when the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of China is approaching.

And: "It is possible that Minister Blinken is concerned about the pace and scope of China's military modernization, which clearly focuses on Taiwan, but China's military capabilities alone do not indicate any intention to use force in the near future," he said Drew Thompson of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and former US State Department official. China expert Bill Bishop also stated in the "Guardian" that neither the public documents nor Xi's speech indicated an accelerated schedule on the part of Beijing.

Nevertheless, vigilance is required. The US Secretary of State was not the only one to warn of the consequences of the annexation. Germany must also be "vigilant" with regard to the "migration of knowledge" from Germany, says BND President Kahl. China is trying to use cyber attacks to obtain know-how from science and business in Germany in order to achieve its goal of becoming a technological world power by 2049.

The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, again warned against the control of important technical infrastructure by Chinese providers in Germany. A situation should not arise in which the Chinese state can "influence political events in Germany" via such an infrastructure.

In addition to Russia, China is a key player that needs to be monitored, Haldenwang said. Partner services from friendly states also see it this way: There it is said again and again: "Russia is the storm, China is climate change," said Haldenwang. "And in this respect we will have to adapt to this climate change in the coming years."

Sources: The Guardian, AFP

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