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What if the US and China Engage in War?

The political climate around the Taiwan Straits has been increasingly heated since the unannounced visit of United States (US) House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five lawmakers to the self-ruled island. The US has been condemning China for suppressing freedom and democracy, while China has launched a series of military exercises within Taiwan’s sea area to express their dissatisfaction.

By: Guanxi Lew

Photo courtesy of the Taiwan Presidential Office via AP Photo

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, US President Joe Biden had asserted that if the US engaged with Russia physically, World War III would be the eventual impact. The same thing will happen if China launches a war against Taiwan and the US gets involved. However, US’s direct involvement in the China-Taiwan war is unlikely given its past track records. However, it is bound by its law to provide Taiwan with enough strength to defend itself, which could mean providing direct military assistance.

World War III is more likely in the case of the US and China than the US and Russia, as they are the two largest economic bodies in the world. Though many claim themselves as neutral, all the countries worldwide have an implicit inclination toward one of the two superpowers in their policies and foreign strategies. Therefore, the global community will be segregated based on their preferences if the US and China engage in a war over Taiwan. The US pact certainly will not have good feelings toward the China pact.

War nowadays does not have to be a mere competition of military strength. It could also be brought to the online domain through cyber attacks, blackmails, and even data breaching. The world may not be as burnt as when World War II happened. Still, cyber warfare will undoubtedly cause a more severe impact on the global community, as the security risks are now more targeted and personalized.

The US must stop aggravating the political climate around the Taiwan Straits by sending provocative messages toward China regarding its territorial sovereignty and political ideology. China must also stop all military exercises and plans within Taiwan’s sea area to prevent miscalculation by the Taiwanese and US regimes. Both the superpowers must acknowledge the impacts of even their most minor actions on the globe and start engaging in meaningful discussions to reach an absolute consensus on the issue of Taiwan.

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