Demonstrators gathering for U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit in Taipei, August 2022
Ann Wang / Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it abundantly clear that “reunifying” Taiwan with mainland China is a legacy issue for him, something he intends to accomplish on his watch through political and economic means or, if necessary, through military force. Right now, he is preoccupied with the COVID-19 crisis, the slowing growth of the Chinese economy, and the upcoming 20th Party Congress, where he hopes to secure a third term as chair of the Chinese Communist Party. But once these immediate concerns are addressed, it is possible that sometime in the next five years Xi will consider taking Taiwan by

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