Temperatures rising in the East

Taiwan hasn’t declared independence yet. But they are clearly moving in that direction, apparently in response to the Chinese crackdowns in Hong Kong. From Generational Dynamics:

Taiwan’s ruling nationalist party KMT (Kuomintang) suffered disastrous losses in local elections across Taiwan on Saturday, giving victories to the opposing DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), and forcing the resignation of the prime minister. Thousands of municipalities, including the capital city Taipei, that had been ruled for years by KMT mayors and politicians will not be ruled by DPP mayors and politicians.

The Kuomintang (KMT) is the modern day incarnation of Chiang Kai-shek’s original nationalist party of soldiers that fought against Mao Zedong’s Communist Revolution and lost, and fled to Hong Kong, then a British colony, and from there to Formosa (Taiwan) in 1949, at the conclusion of the civil war. The KMT position has always been that Taiwan would reunite with China.

KMT held an iron grip on power in Taiwan after the war, and that only began to fade in the 1980s with the founding of the DPP. However, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, which people in Taiwan viewed with horror, proved to be a catalyst in turning Taiwanese people against Beijing, and by 2000 the DPP won a national election. A DPP corruption scandal in 2006 put KMT back into power, and KMT officials have been working closely with Beijing officials to woo Taiwan’s public to voluntarily want reunite with China.

The policy hasn’t really been effective. There are two groups of people who don’t want to reunite. One group is the indigenous Taiwanese people who lived there before 1949, and who have suffered at the hands of the KMT. Young people generally form the second group, and they distrust China and they distrust the KMT for selling out to China.

The problem isn’t that the Red Navy is capable of defeating the US Navy. It isn’t. But it increasingly looks capable of giving the US Navy a seriously bloody nose if it intervenes in cross-strait hostilities between China and Taiwan, and never forget, the Chinese always play a long game. And there is no way, none, that the American people have any stomach whatsoever for war with China after thirteen years of pointless and desultory war in Afghanistan.

I suspect the Chinese may be aware of that, which may explain why so many of their wealthy are stashing their children and buying up properties in the USA. I doubt there will be any open war, but there will likely be growing pressure being exerted on Taiwan with the threat of force behind it.