🧐 The Taiwan-China Conflict Explained
A conflict is brewing in the South China Sea which could lead to World War III.
On the fateful evening of 3rd August an event took place that could stop global economic growth.
That could lead to mass starvation.
That could possibly change the world as we know it.
What was the event?
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.
This event has already led to threats, import and export bans and even missile launches.
Yes, it's almost as bad as when your relatives decide to visit you unannounced.
But why exactly did this one visit almost lead to a declaration of the third World War?
😕 Taiwan's Identity Crisis
To understand the current situation, we need to take a little bit of history lesson first.
Once upon a time in AD 239, a Chinese emperor sent a team to explore an island 100 miles away: Taiwan.
This event was relatively harmless, but China had gotten its eyes on the island ever since.
And in 1683, the Qing Dynasty finally managed to make Taiwan its own.
That's when China lost Taiwan to Japan.
But it found its way back when Japan gave it up after World War II.
Now that all the external wars were done and dusted, a civil war broke out in China.
The existing ruler after being defeated by Mao Zedong fled to Taiwan with around 1.5 million people.
Now, so far this story just had action. Here's where the drama enters the plot.
This exiled ruler and his government started claiming they were the real representatives of China. And several countries agreed with them. In fact, this government even held China's seat in the UN.
But once China began opening up its economy and started world trade, a lot of companies realised how ridiculous this arrangement was.
After all, a small government on an island cannot represent billions of people a 100 miles away.
So, the real China got back its UN seat and recognition.
But since then, Taiwan has been facing an identity crisis.
It has a constitution, its own government and its army. But no official legal status.
China, like a jilted lover, still claims Taiwan is a part of its territory, but Taiwan has moved on and wants to be independent.
Now, we don't know who is right and who is wrong. We will leave that decision to the politicians.
What we want to tell you is what is happening right now.
😲 Are We In For World War III?
For years, most countries including India and the US, have agreed to follow the 'One China' Policy, meaning they agreed with China's claim over Taiwan.
But that has now changed.
Earlier this year, US President Biden made a historic statement supporting Taiwan's claim to independence.
And Pelosi's visit after that statement seems like a declaration of war to China.
So, it also showed its power by launching ballistic missiles near Taiwan.
Now, Taiwan is nowhere near as powerful as China and if it comes to an outright war, it will lose.
Which is where the US comes in. The US has pledged to give its military to Taiwan to protect it.
This means very soon the world's biggest superpowers could be facing each other off in the battlefield.
But why is Taiwan so important?
Sab semiconductor ka chakkar hai, Babu bhaiya.
You see, Taiwan houses the world's biggest semiconductor manufacturer: TSMC, which produces over 90% of the world's semiconductor chips.
If China gains control over the island, it could not only get a leg ahead in the digital race but also cripple other countries' development.
This is exactly why the US is supporting Taiwan.
Okay, ReadOn but why should we care?
Most of us have had our share of life-changing events in the last two years. So, two countries fighting may not seem that big of a deal, especially after we've heard so much about Russia v/s Ukraine.
But these are not two ordinary countries. Like we said they are superpowers. Their fight will impact us a lot.
⚔️ The Impact of the War
First, both countries are the world's top exporters. And Taiwan is one of the world's biggest exporters of semiconductor chips and fertilizers.
So, our food, tech, weapons, minerals, everything is at stake.
Second, the area that they are going to be fighting in, the South China Sea, is a super popular trading route. One-third of the world's trade is done through this area.
If a war rages, the route will be closed forcing ships to either take a much much longer route, which will cost waaay more or stop trading.
Both scenarios are nightmarish.
While the Russia-Ukraine war simply caused food inflation and shortages, this could lead to a possible starvation event for many countries.
Moreover, now that battle lines have been drawn (at least from China's side), even if a war doesn't happen, we could be in trouble.
You see, China is now mad at the US and Taiwan. So much so that it has stopped exports of sand to Taiwan. Huh?
You may not realise but sand, especially quartz sand, is a very valuable resource. And Taiwan needs it to manufacture semiconductors. If it can't we will all be in trouble.
Even though we have set up semiconductor plants, they will take some time to be functional.
So, unless the situation is resolved, EVs, electronics and gadgets will all be super scarce and super costly.
But how can the situation be resolved?
Way 1: Outright war (which is never a good option)
Way 2: Cold War (where neither country attacks but takes attempts to economically weaken the other)
Way 3: China and Taiwan make peace.
Out of these three ways, only the last is the most ideal and also the most impossible.
Any other way will have major consequences for the whole world.
What do you think the future holds for us and for Taiwan?
⚡In a line: Taiwan and China are embroiled in a cold war and the US' entry may just make things worse.
💡Quick question: Are we heading towards World War III?
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