Taiwan: China Withdraws Promise Not to Send Troops

    Taiwan: China Withdraws Promise Not to Send Troops
    Last updated Aug 10, 2022
    Image credit: Reuters


    • According to an official Chinese document released on Wed., China has withdrawn its pledge not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if it takes control of the island - a promise previously included in the 1993 and 2000 white papers.
    • The updated document is titled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era." The "new era" is often associated with Pres. Xi's rule, who is expected to secure a third term as China's president later this year.
    • The document repeated a previous proposal of "one country, two systems" which said Taiwan could retain some of its sovereignty and democratic systems upon reunification with China, similar to how Hong Kong is ruled.
    • Previous documents also included a line saying "anything can be negotiated" as long as Taiwan accepts that there is only one China and doesn't seek independence. This line was also removed from the most recent document.
    • The publication comes in the wake of China's recent military drills surrounding Taiwan, in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to the island, with Beijing accusing the US of meddling in its internal affairs.
    • The Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command has since announced the end of its ongoing drills, but unveiled plans to conduct regular patrols near the island.


    Pro-China narrative

    The political landscape has changed since the previous white papers were released and this is a much needed update to address the current tensions. The new document isn't a threat, but rather makes clarifications about what circumstances would require China to use force, and reaffirms the goal of reunifying China and Taiwan using peaceful measures.

    Anti-China narrative

    If China truly cared about Taiwan's political autonomy, it wouldn't be scratching the promises it made in its previous white papers. The removal of its pledge not to send troops, coupled with the recent military drills in the Taiwan Strait, serve as a warning that the sovereign state and its Western allies should prepare to defend the island from a likely invasion.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 25% chance that China will launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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