Tyrone Siu / REUTERS

Will China Seize Taiwan?

Wishful Thinking in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington Could Spell War in 2019

“China must be, and will be reunified,” Chinese President Xi Jinping declared in a speech in January. Xi spoke of “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, but he warned, “We do not forsake the use of force.” Ever since Hong Kong and Macau rejoined Mainland China in 1997 and 1999, respectively, Chinese expectations that Taiwan would follow suit have grown. When, a decade ago, the Beijing Olympics and the global financial crisis boosted China’s confidence on the world stage, those expectations redoubled. But “peaceful reunification” has proved elusive. After Taiwan elected Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to the presidency in 2016, …

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