Emerging tail-risk: An invasion of Taiwan

I am not in the habit of peddling conspiracy theories, but this is inadvertently becoming a Halloween tradition. Last Halloween, I wrote about how China could control Taiwan without firing a shot (see Scary Halloween story: How a weak USD could hand China a major victory). This year, a new geopolitical tail-risk is materializing for investors and for global stability. China's People's Daily recently published a “Letter to Taiwan’s Intelligence Organs” warning Taiwanese intelligence agencies against supporting President Tsai Ing-wen’s resistance to China's unification efforts (article in Chinese here, Facebook summary in English here).

People’s Daily on Thursday urged intelligence agencies in Taiwan to stay away from the “fatal track” of seeking Taiwan’s independence, which only leads to self-annihilation and is doomed to fail.

In the released Message to Taiwan’s Intelligence agencies, the Chinese mainland firmly opposed those independence-seeking diehards of the blind to allay their tiger-riding behaviors, and advised them to get a clear understanding of the situation and get back to the correct track, the only correct way of stopping them from dead ends.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said the message.

The message also reiterated that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan island share the same blood and same culture, and the mainland always welcomes variety of cooperation through different channels and encourages exchanges and dialogues with people of insight in Taiwan.

The warning was little noticed by most Western media. What was ominous was the phrase, "Don't say I didn't warn you" (勿谓言之不预也). Similar language was used by China when it launched military offensives in the past. It used that phrasing when it issued a "surrender or die" ultimatum to the nationalist garrison in Beijing in 1949. it warned American-led forces in Korea not to approach its Yalu River border in 1950; it warned India before attacking in 1962; and it issued a similar warning before the invasion of Vietnam in 1978.

This is not a drill.

The full post can be found here.

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