China’s Territorial Disputes Across Asia

China’s Territorial Disputes Across Asia

Over the last decade, China has grown in both military and economic power. Because of its rapid growth, China has gained a lot of attention. Recently China has been in two notable disputes over territory with Taiwan and with India. Though they have been going on for years, these disputes have escalated in a concerning way.

Recently, China was involved in a conflict with Taiwan that could prove to be significant considering the involvement of the United States. Reportedly, China has been practicing drills to simulate a potential invasion of Taiwan. According to The Japan Times, these drills were carried out close to Taiwan, at the Paratas Islands. As a result, Taiwan felt a need for more military protection. The U.S., being the main military backer of Taiwan, has been placing more troops there as extra protection, as reported by the Global Times. The BBC also stated the U.S. has also approved a deal to sell $1.8 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan in addition to the troops that would be placed throughout Taiwan. These actions come in response to the Chinese government urging president Xi Jinping to take Taiwan, which could be the reason for the almost daily defense drills that were carried out by Taiwan, as reported by CNBC. A BBC article states that China’s actions are motivated by the belief that Taiwan should be a part of China and China wants to unify by negotiations or force.

In the 1980s, Taiwan started to mend relations with China. They attempted to unite under the phrase “two systems, one China.” China even implemented the system in Hong Kong to show Taiwan how it would work. However, it was hard to prove whether it truly worked the way it was supposed to because of the many pro-democracy protests that have been going on for years in Hong Kong. Recent articles from the BBC suggest that they are still happening. Taiwan chose to decline the offer in favor of their independence, most likely out of fear of being controlled. Most countries can’t even agree on whether Taiwan is a sovereign country or is part of mainland China so it is hard to say whether China is justified in trying to reclaim them or not. Until the world takes a definite stance on whether or not Taiwan is independent, it’s easy to consider this to be a civil dispute in which we shouldn’t be meddling.

According to an article at Brookings.edu, around 10 to 15 percent of Taiwanese people do want reunification of China either now or in the future. So, even in Taiwan, the situation isn’t so cut and dry. Though a large majority of citizens want to stay independent, this minority is definitely one to consider.

Sadly, Taiwan isn´t the only nation with which China has sour relationships at the moment. India and China have been battling over borders for decades. In June, tensions increased. India wanted to build a roadway that China insists is within its territory and a battle ensued in Galwan Valley between Chinese and Indian soldiers leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead and many more captured. An unknown number of Chinese soldiers were reportedly also killed. Since then India and China were supposed to be in peace talks, but they have been seen mobilizing troops near the battlefield, as reported in the New York Times.

Chinese officials claim that China has authority over the entire land and India is completely to blame for the conflict taking place. Though they have thinned out the military presence in certain areas in the valley, they still maintain a strong grip on the land. If China’s claim to the land is valid, then they are justified in taking precautions to protect their land, especially after such a dangerous battle took place.