In December 1949, Chiang Kai-shek moved the capitol of the Republic of China (ROC) to Taipei. He intended the relocation to be temporary. He had already moved his government multiple times: when the Empire of Japan invaded China, when World War II ended, and again when Mao Zedong’s Communist insurgents took the upper hand in the Chinese Civil War.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has never felt more confident that its increasingly capable military could be deployed to successfully seize Taiwan by force. Decades of expanding defense budgets and investment in military modernization have significantly enhanced the CCP’s potential to project power across the Taiwan Strait.
There has been a spate of recent articles proffering when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will likely be capable of invading Taiwan. The prognostications are interesting but unhelpful as they distract from the reality of the range of coercive actions the PRC may impose on Taiwan and what could happen now as a result of the PRC increasing pressure and a related military accident or misstep in the vicinity of Taiwan.