In-Depth

by Malcolm Riddell

The most dangerous place on Earth
2

'Would China really invade Taiwan?'

GZERO

CHINADebate

|

Ian Bremmer | Eurasia Group
&

by
|
|
&
May 7, 2021
'Would China really invade Taiwan?'
'Would China really invade Taiwan?'
No items found.

Heading

Ian Bremmer | Eurasia Group

The most dangerous place on Earth

2

BIG IDEA | ‘Is Taiwan really "the most dangerous place on earth?" No. Or at least, not right now.’

‘The cover story of The Economist declares that Taiwan is "The most dangerous place on Earth," because China might finally be ready to plan an invasion of the island.’

‘Of all the issues, the most volatile and explosive could well be Taiwan. And yes, there is a lot to be concerned about.'

  • 'But The Economist doesn't have it quite right.’

‘First, a central point in the magazine's argument is that a Chinese attack on Taiwan would have global economic repercussions, including disrupting the world's most important semiconductor manufacturer, TSMC, that's Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.’

  • ‘That company makes more than half of all of the chips outsourced by all foreign companies globally.’
  • ‘A quote from the piece: "Were production at TSMC to stop, so would the global electronics industry, at incalculable cost." ’

‘And yes, war would be devastating for many reasons, including the interruption of TSMC's operations. But that's precisely why it's not going to happen.’

  • ‘China relies on a functional TSMC as much as the United States does for advanced semiconductors.’
  • ‘In fact, China right now is way behind the US in this particular aspect, though not all, of the technology battle.’
  • ‘Taiwan is a critical player in the great decoupling battle and an attack would seriously set back China's own tech ambitions.’

‘The article also states that "China would overnight become the dominant power in Asia" if China attacked Taiwan and the United States didn't intervene.’

  • ‘That's doubtful’

‘Actually, the "Quad," the US, Australia, India, and Japan, would be turbocharged overnight.’

  • ‘China could completely undermine its own bid for regional dominance if it were to suddenly assault Taiwan.’

‘Also, the argument fails to acknowledge that Taiwan itself could mount significant military resistance, exposing weaknesses in Beijing's military power.’

  • ‘Not to mention any such attack by China would further damage its ties to the European Union.’

‘Finally, The Economist speculates that China's President Xi Jinping may want to "crown his legacy" as they say, with the takeover of Taiwan.’

  • ‘That is a huge gamble.’

‘What happens if Xi attempts an invasion and fails?’

  • ‘His legacy would be defined by a reckless move that would destroy China's long-term strategic prospects.’

‘Still, there are other ways for China to assert greater control.’

  • ‘For example, the very fear of a looming threat would likely erode Taiwan's quest for independence over time without any shots fired.’
  • ‘How do the United States, the Quad, and Europe respond to that?’

‘Which brings us back to that very splashy and provocative cover and headline. Is Taiwan really "the most dangerous place on earth?" ’

  • ‘No. Or at least, not right now.’
more
In-Depth

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

AUKUS: A New World Order?

‍In case you passed over the news of AUKUS, the new strategic alliance among the U.S, the U.K., and Australia, here a few headlines to encourage a deeper look.
9/19/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

Xi Jinping: Today, video games. Tomorrow, well ... just be good.

Today's issue is a heads up on what may be Xi Jinping's efforts to reshape Chinese society.
9/7/2021

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

The Taliban: 'China's Perfect Partner'?

Breaking through the blow-by-blow reporting that started when the Taliban began its sweep to victory are the geopolitical analyses of who gains and who loses in Afghanistan.
8/28/2021

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|
China's Tech Crackdown
0

China's Tech Crackdown: 'Nobody Saw It Coming.' — Huh?

‘Carnage in China's financial markets signals the beginning of a new era as the government puts socialism before shareholders, and regulatory changes rip apart the old playbook,’ writes Reuters’ Tom Westbrook.
8/1/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

Andrew Browne | Bloomberg
|
&
|
China's Tech Crackdown
2

'Why China Is Cracking Down on Its Technology Giants'

‘Why, you may ask, is China crushing some of its most innovative unicorns? We’re in a new era led by President Xi Jinping, and politics are in command.’
8/1/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

Shuli Ren | Bloomberg
|
&
|
China's Tech Crackdown
4

'Xi's Four Pillars of Regulation'

‘Broadly, Beijing is concerned about four pillars of stability: banking, anti-trust regulation, data security and social equality. All of Beijing’s major interventions reflect these concerns.’
8/1/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

Shuli Ren | Bloomberg
|
&
|
China's Tech Crackdown
3

'Stock Market: China Doesn’t Care How Much Money Investors Lose'

‘Does Beijing not care how much money foreign investors have lost? Does the government really want to close China Inc.’s access to the deep pool of global capital? The short answer is, no, the government doesn’t care.
8/1/2021

Reuters

CHINADebate

|

Tom Westbrook | Reuters
|
&
|
China's Tech Crackdown
1

'The most significant philosophical shift since Deng'

‘Carnage in China's financial markets signals the beginning of a new era as the government puts socialism before shareholders and regulatory changes rip apart the old playbook. According to some analysts, it is the most significant philosophical shift since former leader Deng Xiaoping set development as the ultimate priority 40 years ago.’
8/1/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

Didi: Xi Surprises Us Again

Beijing shocked the financial world when it pulled the rug out from under Didi days after its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and also announced new regulations reigning in overseas IPOs and Chinese companies already listed.
7/8/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|
What the West Gets Wrong About China
0

‘Why do business and political leaders in the West persist in getting China so wrong?’

From that I suggested that to invest successfully in China, you have to understand – and be aware of - what those differences are.
6/20/2021

Harvard Business Review

CHINADebate

|

Rana Mitter | Oxford
|
&
|
What the West Gets Wrong About China
1

Part 1 | ‘Why do business and political leaders in the West persist in getting China so wrong?’

‘Why do business and political leaders in the West persist in getting China so wrong?’
6/20/2021

Harvard Business Review

CHINADebate

|

Rana Mitter | Oxford
|
&
|
What the West Gets Wrong About China
2

Part 2 | ‘Myth 1: Economics and Democracy Are Two Sides of the Same Coin'

‘The truth, then, is that China is not an authoritarian state seeking to become more liberal but an authoritarian state seeking to become more successful—politically as well as economically.’
6/20/2021

Harvard Business Review

CHINADebate

|

Rana Mitter | Oxford
|
&
|
What the West Gets Wrong About China
3

Part 3 | ‘Myth 2: Authoritarian Political Systems Can’t Be Legitimate’

‘A Marxist-Leninist system is concerned not only with economic outcomes but also with gaining and maintaining control over the system itself.’ ‘That has huge implications for people seeking to do business in China.’
6/20/2021

Harvard Business Review

CHINADebate

|

Rana Mitter | Oxford
|
&
|
What the West Gets Wrong About China
4

Part 4 | ‘Myth 3: The Chinese Live, Work, and Invest Like Westerners’

‘For much of its turbulent modern history, China has been under threat from foreign powers, both within Asia (notably Japan) and outside it (the UK and France in the mid 19th century).’ ‘China’s rulers, therefore, see foreign engagement as a source less of opportunity than of threat, uncertainty, and even humiliation.’
6/20/2021

The New York Times

CHINADebate

|

Jack Nicas, Raymond Zhong, & Daisuke Wakabayashi | The New York Times
|
&
|
Apple in China
1

‘Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China’

‘Apple built the world’s most valuable business on top of China. Now it has to answer to the Chinese government.’
5/20/2021

Wall Street Journal

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|
Apple in China
5

'Tim Cook and Apple Bet Everything on China.'

‘For Apple, a clean break with China is impossible.’
5/20/2021

The New York Times

CHINADebate

|

Jack Nicas, Raymond Zhong, & Daisuke Wakabayashi | The New York Times
|
&
|
Apple in China
2

'Apple in China: No Plan B'

“This business model only really fits and works in China. But then you’re married to China.” ‘The Chinese government was starting to pass laws that gave the country greater leverage over Apple, and Mr. Xi would soon start seeking concessions. Apple had no Plan B.’
5/20/2021

The New York Times

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|
Apple in China
3

'Apple Reaches $2 Trillion'

“This business model only really fits and works in China. But then you’re married to China.” ‘The Chinese government was starting to pass laws that gave the country greater leverage over Apple, and Mr. Xi would soon start seeking concessions. Apple had no Plan B.’
5/20/2021