COVID-19 killed democracy in Hong Kong. Change my mind.
When President Joe Biden shared his opinion last week that the Chinese Communist Party does not intend to invade Taiwan in the coming year, it was met with a sigh of cautious relief.
Could President Biden be right about this? After all, it was the Biden Administration in 2022 — and only the Biden Administration — warning of an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Almost everyone else — including officials in Ukraine — dismissed the idea even as Russian officials denied it…right up until February 24, 2022.
Could Biden be right twice?
Like Russia’s position in Ukraine prior to 2022, China is already at war with Taiwan in many ways.
China routinely employs an information warfare strategy it calls the “Three Warfares” against its geopolitical opponents, Taiwan chief among them. The Chinese Communist Party has been caught, on numerous occasions, tampering in Taiwan.
Russia engaged in an identical information warfare campaign against Ukraine in the years leading up to the invasion in February 2022, and still world authorities were caught off guard by the audaciousness and unscrupulousness of Vladimir Putin.
Is the U.S. underestimating CCP Chairman Xi Jinping in the same way?
The last time the Chinese Communist Party faced a similar challenge was the first time in a very long time a would-be Chinese province dared challenge the regime. The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong was as much of a challenge in 2020 to Xi Jinping’s primacy as Taiwan is today.
The Chinese Communist Party publicly embraces a policy it calls “One China” — a pivotal and contentious policy at the heart of cross-strait tensions between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan. It asserts that there is only one sovereign state named “China,” encompassing both the PRC on the mainland and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan.
While the PRC insists on reunification with Taiwan, Taiwan operates as a self-governing entity with its own government and constitution. In early 2020, Hong Kong hoped to achieve a similar, if equally tenuous, status.