Will the Taiwan Strait Crisis Happen by 2027? January 18, 16:39

"The crisis over Taiwan could materialize by 2027,"

warns the former commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Army, who was active until last year.

With this statement as a trigger, there is growing concern that the day when China will embark on the unification of Taiwan against the backdrop of military power is approaching.

If it actually happens, a Taiwan emergency that will affect Japan, an ally of the United States.

Is the crisis really approaching?

And what is China thinking?

I interviewed.

(NHK Special Reporter / International Department Reporter Kozue Hamamoto, Okinawa Bureau Reporter Wakako Takada, China Directorate General Reporter Sotaro Watanabe)

Is the Taiwan Crisis by 2027?

What is "Davidson Window"?

"We are concerned that China will accelerate its ambitions. Taiwan is one of the ambitions, and the threat will emerge within the next six years."

This is a warning issued by former commander Philip Davidson of the United States Indo-Pacific Army (active until April last year, retired as Admiral) at a hearing of the US Parliamentary Senate Military Committee last March.

The statement, which the active commander of the Indo-Pacific Army against China pointed out the possibility of China's invasion of Taiwan with a specific deadline, was big news, and it seems that a Taiwan emergency is approaching. Concerns have spread.

Based on Mr. Davidson's statement "within the next 6 years," it will be until 2027, five years later.

On what basis did you indicate the specific deadline?

I asked Mr. Davidson himself.

Former Indo-Pacific Commander Davidson

"The People's Liberation Army (of the Chinese Communist Party) is developing weapons at a faster pace than the analysis by U.S. intelligence agencies. Especially important "

Why did Mr. Davidson mention the term of President Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party?

President Xi is said to be aiming for an unusual third term after his second term as party leader has ended.

If that happens, the end of the third term will be in 2027.

By this time, President Xi hopes to achieve historic "political achievements," Davidson said, which would be Taiwan's unification, a long-cherished wish for the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr. Davidson is in danger that if President Xi has the intention of invading, the current strength of the US military may not be able to deter it.

The sense of crisis is shown in the material that Mr. Davidson submitted to the US Congress, which summarizes the comparison of US and Chinese forces.

In terms of force, it claims that the US military's dominance in East Asia, including the Taiwan Strait, is rapidly eroding.

The material clearly summarizes the changes in the balance of power between the US military and the Chinese PLA over the last 20 years.

Twenty-three years ago, in 1999, the U.S. military deployed one aircraft carrier and four amphibious assault ships in the area.

In contrast, there are no such ships in China.

The range of influence of China was limited to the line called the first island chain connecting Okinawa and Taiwan.

In fact, in the "Taiwan Strait Crisis" that occurred in 1996, the difference was significant.

At that time, in Taiwan, President Lee Teng-hui, who was wary of China's increasing independence, was more likely to be elected in the first democratic election, and China blocked the two areas of the Taiwan Strait and launched missiles as an exercise. firing.

He showed off his military power and put pressure on Taiwan, which is refraining from elections.

In response, the United States dispatched two aircraft carriers around Taiwan, and China was suppressed by force.

About 20 years later, last year, as of 2021, the balance of US and Chinese forces is leaning toward China.

While the strength of the United States has not changed significantly, China now owns two aircraft carriers.

In addition, the number of amphibious assault ships, submarines, and fighters has been increased to exceed that of the United States.

Along with that, China's influence crossed the first island chain and reached a line called the second island chain connecting Guam and other areas.

Japan is also within that range.

Furthermore, the forecast of the force ratio in 2025, three years from now, points out that its influence will spread throughout the western Pacific Ocean.

When China tries to push for the unification of Taiwan by force against the background of this difference in strength, the United States may not be able to discourage it.

That is the concern that Davidson wanted to convey.

The period until 2027, which Mr. Davidson pointed out, is now also called the "Davidson window" by military personnel and others, and it is also regarded as the time left until the crisis. I am.

Former Commander Davidson

"I'm worried about the weakening of the capabilities of the United States and its allies in the region. The crisis in Taiwan will also be a crisis for the entire region."

China's threat of growing concern in Taiwan

So are there growing concerns about the possibility of a Chinese invasion in Taiwan?

When I interviewed in Taiwan, I could see a part of the increasing military pressure in China.

We interviewed Tainan Air Force Base in southern Taiwan.

This is the first time that the Japanese media has been approved for coverage.

The base has jurisdiction over the southwestern airspace of Taiwan, and the number of times a fighter takes off in a scramble = emergency start is the highest among Taiwan's bases.

Scrambles were taking place while filming the missile loading process at the base.

According to the announcement by the Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan, the number of Chinese military aircraft that entered the southwestern airspace of the air defense identification zone set by Taiwan was about 10 in 2019, but about 380 in 2020, 2021. The number of aircraft is increasing rapidly to nearly 1000 in a year.

In this regard, China aims to protect sovereignty and territory.

At the base, operations are more tight than ever in response to the surge in scramble.

Under such circumstances, some people want to be at the forefront of defense and want to relocate their fighters to pilots.

A woman who was doing office work in the military.

We continue to train rigorously.

Suddenly, a roaring "scramble!"

You must then take off with a fighter within 5 minutes.

Female pilot

"My goal is to keep the Taiwan Strait safe. (My family) was against it, but now they support me."

Opinion polls in Taiwan also show that more and more people are seeing the use of force by China as a reality.

In a poll conducted last October, 28.1% thought that China could attack Taiwan, an increase of about 12 points from the previous survey (3 years ago, 2019).

President Tsai Ing-wen has urged China, which is intensifying military pressure, to peacefully resolve the difference in position with Taiwan. "We should not misjudgment the situation and prevent the spread of military adventurism within. There is absolutely no military option to resolve the differences in position on both sides of the Taiwan Strait."

Is China going to invade Taiwan?

So where is China's intention?

Regarding Taiwan, President Xi Jinping said in a speech last October:

President Xi Jinping

"The Taiwan issue is China's internal affairs and does not allow any external interference. The historic mission of complete unification of the motherland must and can be achieved."

I tried to interview Keyman, who is said to know the idea of ​​President Xi.

Professor Liu Mingfuku of China National Defense University.

It is said to have influenced President Xi's slogan, "Achieving the Great Reconstruction of the Chinese People," and "Chinese Dream."

The book entitled "Dream of the Strong Army" written by Professor Liu argues that China can become the world's number one army by increasing its naval power and break the hegemony of the United States.

The book was published by the publisher of the Central Party School, an executive training institution of the Chinese Communist Party.

In other words, it can be said that the content has been endorsed by the party.

It is a sentence written in "Dream of the Strong Army".

The main battlefield where China firmly protects the sovereignty of the nation, unifies the nation, and realizes the revival of the people is the ocean.

"The one who controls the ocean controls the world"

Professor Liu points out that China has strengthened its armaments so far in light of the 1996 "Taiwan Strait Crisis" that was suppressed by the United States by military force, which has accelerated further in the days of President Xi.

Professor Liu Mingfuku

"It won't be long before China's national power surpasses the United States and the United States retreats from the western Pacific to the eastern Pacific. China's maritime strategy must first protect its own maritime interests, and its top priority is , The Taiwan Strait. The United States is interfering with the Taiwan issue and militarily obstructing the unification of China, but it must be done in the new era of Xi Jinping. "

On top of that, will China invade Taiwan by 2027?

Asking that possibility

Professor Liu Mingfuku

"This is the highest military secret and is constantly changing. With the changes in the'Taiwan independence power', the changes in the US military power, especially the development and progress of China's military power ( Don't get stuck in a kind of concrete opinion (like Mr. Davidson). As long as Japan is a Japan-US alliance, it needs to cooperate with the actions of the United States and act together, but with the United States, China's ocean The Japanese people should consider whether there is a motive for violating their interests. "

Professor Liu says that China will now militarily "catch up," "line up," and "overtake" the United States.

On the other hand, if the United States rushes to protect its hegemony and strengthens its offensive against China, I think there is a possibility that tensions will further increase.

Even so, he asserted that "Taiwan's unification will surely be realized," and expressed his strong determination and confidence that he would not give up the nation's long-cherished wishes under any circumstances.

What is the exit to the growing tension between the United States and China?

A warning from a former US commander that the possibility of China's invasion of Taiwan is approaching.

When I interviewed the people concerned at the entrance, I saw the warning in the Taiwan Strait, where instability is increasing due to changes in the military balance between the United States and China.

I wasn't sure if the Taiwan emergency would happen by 2027, but I had the impression that it was becoming more and more realistic.

I posed that question to a person who has devoted his life to Sino-US relations.

Winston Road, a former diplomat who has visited China with then-Aide Kissinger to establish diplomatic relations between the United States and China more than 50 years ago.

Mr. Lord says that China's military buildup is aimed at preventing Taiwan's independence and is unlikely to invade, but it is difficult to look ahead.

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Road

"It's hard to predict what will happen to China, even for someone like me who has been involved for 50 years. The problem is that accidents and miscalculations can occur. Taiwan, East China Sea , South China Sea, can happen anywhere. We need a "guard rail" to prevent it. We will continue to have fierce competition, but we must avoid conflicts and hope they can be avoided. "

Once it happens, the impact on Japan, an ally of the United States, is inevitable in Taiwan.

As Mr. Lord said, I felt that there was no time when there was a need for a "guardrail" to prevent a collision between the United States and China.

What if a Taiwan emergency happens?

What kind of movement is there in Japan in anticipation of an emergency?

The second part will be posted tomorrow.

International Department Reporter

Kozue Hamamoto Joined the station

in 2009.

Currently affiliated after working at the Hakodate station and Osaka station.

Areas of interest are the United States, China, and IT technology.

Wakako Takada ,

a reporter for the Okinawa Broadcasting Station , joined the station

in 2008.

For more than three years until the fall of 2020, we will cover China-Taiwan relations and Japan-US-Taiwan relations in Taiwan.

Sotaro Watanabe ,

a reporter for the Directorate General of China , joined the station

in 2010.

After working in Tokushima, Okinawa, international politics, etc., he has been a member since August 2020.