There have been some developments in the past that may have led to negative sentiments against China. The failure of contain Covid-19 outbreak, human rights violations in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet are some of the issues that became matters of concerns, now there is one more. China contemplates annexing Taiwan using military means. This would mean the world is going to see armed conflict that may translate into a big war involving major countries owing to ongoing political maneuvers in Indo-Pacific region. Not just governments but average citizens around the world are expressing concerns over Chinese action. Moreover, a majority countries would not be in favour of a military clash when the world is still struggling to recuperate from the heavy blows struck by coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “step up preparations for war”, which indicates Beijing’s is planning to wage a war against Taiwan to annex it with the mainland. Chinese scholar Wu Qiang said Jinping is set to make “a definitive move” to occupy Taiwan forcefully in next five years’ time. “Beijing is looking at speeding up a resolution of the Taiwan issue during Xi’s third term as president…This means that, over the next few years, the Taiwan issue will become the most important story in the Western Pacific,” he said. Qiang had to lose his job as politics professor at Tsinghua university in 2015 after he refused to write propaganda to improve Jinping’s image and promote his policies.
Taiwan issue has got crucial importance in recent past as many western countries are up in arms over Chinese hegemony in South China sea. More particularly, any kind of action against Taiwan would bring the US in picture, which would serve as a major flashpoint for Sino- US conflict. Phil Davidson, the admiral leading US Indo-Pacific Command, too has warned of Chinese military action against Taiwan in next six years. . He told the panel of US lawmakers that the Chinese move would be a part of Chinese “ambitions to supplant the United States” and its “leadership role in the rules- based international order.”
Taiwan is busy building its defence infrastructure including construction of submarine to thwart Chinese attempts to invade the island nation. China too is hellbent on accession of Taiwan either through diplomatic efforts or military force. After new US President Joe Biden reaffirmed its defence of Taiwan, China sent 30 fighter jets into Taiwanese territory. This was a clear signal from Jinping government that the US support would not deter China. In case PLA launches a military action, the US would certainly support the Taiwan.as the Taiwan Relations Act considers a Chinese invasion a “grave concern” and urges the US government to Taipei defend itself against Beijing. It would also get the US allies such as Australia, Canada, which recently strained relations with China, and France, the UK to join the fight. So is the Russia– from Chinese side. The development means the conflict may flare up into major disaster, even if a world war.
There are early signs of potential conflict in the western pacific as China continues with its plans to annex Taiwan. Recently, the US warship USS John Finn and Chinese destroyer PLAN Jinan had come close to each other in the Taiwan Strait, though the reason for the development has not been public yet. The US particularly has been vocal about Taiwan’s independence while France too has indicated implicit support to the island nation. Despite a warning from China, France has decided to send its lawmakers to Taiwan, expressing support to democratic forces. China however has a clear message: “We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements – those who play with fire will burn themselves, and Taiwan independence means war.”
The European Union is already unhappy over human rights violations in Xinjiang where minority Uyghur Muslims are said to be harassed and tortured by China. The European Union is planning to bring sanctions against China. According to a poll in 2020, 60 percent of Britons calls China “force for bad in the world while the share was 47 percent in Germany and 60 percent in France. In the US too the anti-China sentiments are on rise. According to Pew Research Centre, the percentage of people holding a “cold” feeling toward China has grown to 67 percent in 2021 from 46 percent in 2018. Similar sentiments echo in other major countries like Japan and India—both major player in Indo-Pacific region.