A Chinese aircraft carrier group is conducting exercises near Taiwan, and Beijing’s navy says such drills will become a regular thing, as the mainland steps up economic, diplomatic and military pressure on the island it claims as its sovereign territory.
Last month, Beijing banned the island’s pineapples in an attempt to squeeze its economy. Japan responded by ordering a record number of them from Taiwan, but it could soon be called upon to do much more, should Beijing make good on its vow to reunite with the island whether it likes it or not.
If Taiwan doesn’t agree to be absorbed peacefully, China’s Anti-secession Law makes clear it will be forced to do so, notes Frank Ching. But when? The U.S. Indo-Pacific commander warned that China might try to take over Taiwan “within the next six years.” Two weeks later, the man nominated to be his successor said the threat was more imminent “than most think.”
Taiwan’s chief representative in Japan has called for a commitment to keeping the peace on the island to be clarified in a joint statement by Japan and the U.S. at next week’s Suga-Biden summit, and for Japan to hash out a law defining the country’s security relations with Taipei.
Japan should think seriously about its options for dealing with a Taiwan contingency, argues commentator Kuni Miyake. If the U.S. decides to abandon its policy of “strategic ambiguity” over Taiwan, as some are pushing for, that assessment by Tokyo will become significantly more urgent.
But what can Japan do, under its Constitution, in the event of a Taiwan-China clash? As Michael Macarthur Bosack explains, there are three scenarios under which Japan could take some form of action, but when push comes to shove, it will come down to what Taiwan needs and how far Japan dares to go.