In-Depth

'China Threat: A "perception gap" between the U.S. and Taiwan'
'China Threat: A "perception gap" between the U.S. and Taiwan'
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是故百戰百勝,非善之善者也;不戰而屈人之兵,善之善者也。 'To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.'

The most dangerous place on Earth

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May 5, 2021
BIG IDEA | ‘While the U.S. talks up the medium-term military threat, the democratic island sees the moves as part of a bigger, more immediate problem: "gray zone" warfare from Beijing that is meant to wear down the morale of not just the Taiwanese military, but also the island's people.’

‘While officials in Washington sound the alarm about a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, officials and residents on the island say that fails to understand the true dynamics in the region.’

  • ‘Many in Taiwan believe that rather than start a war, Beijing would instead prefer to "subdue the enemy without fighting," [不戰而屈人之兵]in the words of the ancient Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu.’

‘Alexander Huang, a former deputy chairperson of Taiwan's Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council, said there was a "perception gap" between the U.S. and Taiwan in evaluating the Chinese threat.’

  • ‘ "The perception gap comes from assessment on 'intention,' not 'capability,'" he said.’

‘While the U.S. talks up the medium-term military threat, the democratic island sees the moves as part of a bigger, more immediate problem:’

  • ‘ "gray zone" warfare from Beijing that is meant to wear down the morale of not just the Taiwanese military, but also the island's people.’

‘Despite the growing pressure and posturing, many Taiwanese say they have lived with threats from China for so long that they have become largely inured to them.’

  • [Amazingly] ‘In a survey last year, 48 percent of Taiwanese characterized the relationship with China as hostile, up from 32 percent in 2017.’

‘Yang Yufan, a pineapple farmer, said he expected Beijing's economic pressure on the island to continue, but he, too, said he did not believe that China would follow through on its military threats.’

  • ‘ "It's not the first time they have tried to intimidate us. They want to harass us. They have been doing it already, lots of times, since we were children, and now we're adults." ’
  • ‘ "So I think there's no need to be frightened." ’
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