Although China has become a dominant global force, foreign policy analysts have revealed the state is likely to reach a tipping point by 2035. With Xi ramping up China’s military strength and capability to reclaim the state, professor Andrew Erickson the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, and Gabriel Collins, the Baker Botts fellow in energy and environmental regulatory affairs at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy warned of a crucial period for the West.
Due to certain economic factors such as rising debt levels, stagnating household GDP, reliance on energy imports, and the growing presence of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, they warned Xi may attempt to claim Taiwan before it’s too late.
Writing for Foreign Policy, the pair concluded although China’s long-term decline is important, it may expedite Xi’s plans for global dominance within the next 10 years.
Amid this threat, the pair warned the US and its allies now face the greatest challenge of the 21st century.
They wrote: “China’s power is peaking; so is the political position of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) domestic strength.”
The pair added: “But right now, it creates a decade of danger from a system that increasingly realizes it only has a short time to fulfil some of its most critical, long-held goals.
“Within the next five years, China’s leaders are likely to conclude that its deteriorating demographic profile, structural economic problems, and technological estrangement from global innovation centres are eroding its leverage to annex Taiwan and achieve other major strategic objectives.
“As Xi internalizes these challenges, his foreign policy is likely to become even more accepting of risk, feeding on his nearly decade-long track record of successful revisionist action against the rules-based order.”
China has already achieved several of its strategic goals such as growing its presence in the South China Sea, increasing incursions into Taiwan and Japan’s airspace while also pushing its border challenge into India, the pair said.
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China claimed the two states had threatened the peace and stability of the region.
However, the presence of the warships came in response after the 150 Chinese plans entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.
The US Navy, however, claimed it had been committed to continuing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
They said: “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
China’s People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command said Western forces had intended to spark trouble in the region.
They insisted Taiwan remains part of Chinese territory.
A statement read: “The United States and Canada colluded to provoke and stir up trouble seriously jeopardising peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.
“Taiwan is part of Chinese territory.
“Theatre forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations.”