Taiwan: China's next target? | DW Analysis

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description
Despite China’s increasingly aggressive behaviour both at home and abroad, Beijing’s open threat to take control of Taiwan by force is receiving comparatively little attention – leaving this flourishing liberal democracy uniquely isolated and vulnerable. The threat may be far more imminent than many imagine. According to Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu “the Chinese authoritarian leaders may find Taiwan as a convenient scapegoat. Therefore Taiwan needs to be doubly concerned about a possible Chinese use of force against us.”


5:09 What is Taiwan?
16:05 Why China wants Taiwan
26:25 Scenario 1: Chipping away
33:10 Scenario 2: Crimea 2.0
41:18 Scenario 3: Invasion
49:05 What now?

In this video DW's Chief International Editor Richard Walker explores the roots of the threat in depth – aided by military and strategy experts from Taiwan, China, the United States and Germany. He charts the dramatic expansion in Beijing’s navy and advanced missile arsenal that is shifting the balance of power against the U.S. in the Pacific. The video examines three possible scenarios: China gradually chipping away at Taiwan’s stability via military and hybrid means; a sudden, Crimea-style annexation of outlying islands; and a full-scale invasion. This final scenario would pose extremely dangerous for global stability. “Everything that happens in this scenario happens under the shadow of a potential nuclear war,” warns Ian Easton, author of “The China Invasion Threat.”

Adding to Taiwan’s profound vulnerability, there is growing doubt that the any country would come to its aid in the event of Chinese military action – or even have the capability to do so. “Even five years ago, the ability of the United States to come to Taiwan’s defense was greater than it is today,” warns Bonnie Glaser, one of Washington’s top experts on the region. “It has eroded over the last decade. And that is, I think, problematic.”

In the U.S., Congressman Ted Yoho of the House Foreign Affairs Committee explains his bill that would commit the U.S. to come to Taiwan’s defence, ending the longstanding “strategic ambiguity” that he and some experts see as destabilizing. But could this in itself pose greater dangers? Europe must also take the threat more seriously, argues leading German expert Janka Oertel. “We have not devoted enough energy to these kinds of scenarios. What we lack is a European conversation about what kind of player Europe in the future would like to be in these kinds of scenarios.” m concludes with a passionate plea from Joseph Wu for democracies to end Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from global bodies like the U.N. and the World Health Organization: “It's not fair to the Taiwanese people.”
What should the democratic world do to minimize the risk of an open conflict between China and Taiwan?

Follow DW on social media:
#China #Taiwan #CrossStraitRelations

💬 Comments on the video

It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.
- John F Kennedy

Author — Akash Dobhal


If China takes over Taiwan, will it stop there and suddenly become a friendly neighbor? Of course not.

Author — Anikin Liu


Seem like another WW is coming sooner than we thought.

Author — jetskeeter69


The West need to stand with Taiwan, we will regret it if we do not!

Author — pseudopetrus


I jumped with the Taiwanese special forces in late 60s, out of C-47s. Wonderful people!!

Author — Gary flatt


I tell you this. We appease. We lose. Remember when you did appeasement to a certain guy with a funny mustache.

Author — Francisco


If the "free world" turns its back on Taiwan, it will be turning its back on its own idea of "free world" and democracy. Maybe it is time for a change... Maybe its not, will see what happens.

Author — Phoenix AZ Ronquillo


The incompetent Secretary-General of the United Nations must step down.

Author — mobais vim


Very informative. Keep it coming, the world needs awareness

Author — Miguel Amaral


The fact that the EU shakes more hands whit China then whit Taiwan baffles me.

Author — Red Mustang 1976


Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. - Mike Tyson.

Author — Eddie Seachord


Favorite quote from the first five minutes: “Europe needs to start planning for this contingency [nuclear war between superpowers].”

Author — przybyla420


I just realize this was before the 2020 election and they predicted everything perfectly for what happening in the US...

Author — chinookH47


i always laugh when i see comments like "US has your back" or "US will help" when the US themselves are in a pile of mess.

Author — christine _


CCP's promises are jokes and subject to change at all time.

Author — Susan Wu


Fun fact: People’s Republic of China and Republic of China are still under civil war since 1946.

Author — Dream X


16:07 China wants land..land.. and land. Its neighbouring countries always feels threatened from its old expansionism tactics.

Author — sundeep rawat


Let Taiwan do whatever so long as sovereignty remains under PRC?
How’s that working out for Hong Kong?

Author — Jeffrey Hsu


31:00 This maybe exactly what is happening in the Philippines leading to China's ultimate goal that is to successfully seize all the Islands in the West Philippine Sea!



Arm Taiwan with nukes and the permission to use them whenever they feel it necessary, then let China know the rest of the world backs Taiwan.

Author — Jack Dalton