Risk of armed conflict in Taiwan Strait ‘unprecedented’, says Beijing-backed think tank

May 21, 2021 7:58 p.m. STI

beijing [China], May 21 (ANI): As tensions rise in the Taiwan Strait, the risk of armed conflict is at a “record high”, according to a Beijing-backed think tank.
The China Cross-Strait Academy on Wednesday released a report on relations across the 180km-wide strip of water that separates mainland China from Taiwan, the South China Morning Post reported.
The report was released after the US Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) transited the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The think tank said the researchers looked at factors such as the two sides’ military strength, trade relations, public opinion, political events and ally support, concluding that they were “on the brink of war”.
His conclusion was based on an index of the level of risk of armed conflict across the strait, which the researchers put at 7.21 for 2021, on a scale of minus 10 to 10.
They also looked at the same factors dating back to the 1950s to come up with comparative risk indices. They said that in the early 1950s, when nationalist anti-communist forces fled the mainland to Taiwan, the index was lower than it is today, at 6.7.
The Hong Kong-based think tank was recently founded and led by Communist Party-backed All-China Youth Federation committee member Lei Xiying.

“But given the current volatile situation, the huge uncertainties and the stakes involved if someone makes a bad judgment or a bad decision, it is not wrong to say that the level of risk across the Taiwan Strait is at an unprecedented level,” Lim said.
“Beijing used to believe that as long as China-US relations were under control, Taiwan wouldn’t be a problem,” Lim said. “But … China-US relations have taken a nosedive under Trump and there are no signs of improvement now with the Joe Biden administration relying more on allies like Taiwan to contain China.”
The Taiwan Strait is a 180 kilometer wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and mainland Asia.
The strait is in international waters, however, China claims Taiwan as its own territory and views the US Navy’s presence in the area as a show of support for the island’s democratic government.
China on Wednesday accused the United States of threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.
In a statement posted on the Department of Defense website, spokesman for Eastern Theater Command Col. Zhang Chunhui said the US actions were “sending the wrong signals to” Taiwan independence forces, deliberately disrupted and sabotaged the regional situation and endangered peace and stability across Taiwan. Detroit.”
He said Chinese forces were tracking and monitoring the vessel and “strictly guarding against all threats and provocations”.
The Indo-Pacific region is widely considered to be an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance in the Indian Ocean seem to have challenged the established rules-based system. (ANI)