When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decides to quash the island nation of Taiwan’s successful run at democratic self-governance, will the Chinese try to limit the conflict to Taiwan and its immediate waters, or will they immediately embark on a wider conflict involving the United States, Japan, and other nations? It’s a big question. History suggests an answer.
Before answering that question, we need to understand why China would seek to occupy Taiwan in the first place. The CCP, under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, sees Taiwan as part of China. But, as with Hong Kong, the CCP cannot tolerate any challenge to its totalitarian control. For the CCP, the maintenance of its rule is paramount.
More so than Hong Kong, Taiwan’s continued development as an independent and flourishing democracy with robust human rights threatens the very foundation of the CCP’s legitimacy. Where Hong Kong was an annoying challenge to Beijing’s rule, Taiwan is a mortal threat.