Xi Jinping more likely to invade Taiwan in 2024 as Chinas economy in freefall

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China’s flagging economy could make it “more – not less” likely that Xi Jinping could launch an attack on neighbouring Taiwan, Nigel Farage wrote exclusively for Daily Express US.

Economic growth in China slid to 0.8 percent in the three months ending in June compared with the previous month, down from 2.2 percent in January to March. That is equivalent to a 3.2 percent annual rate, which would be among China’s weakest in decades.

A survey in June found unemployment among urban workers aged 16 to 24 spiked to a record 21.3 percent. The statistics bureau said this week it would withhold updates while it refined its measurement.

“It’s anybody’s guess as to how this will play out in the short to medium term, but things are looking very bad indeed,” Farage wrote.

He continued: “Yet being on this helter-skelter could make it more – not less – likely that China may try to invade Taiwan within the next year. Amid this catalogue of domestic woes, President Xi may well conclude that a show of military might shore up his own increasingly shaky position.”

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Last Saturday, Beijing launched massive military drills around the island as a “stern warning” over what it called collusion between “separatists and foreign forces”, its defence ministry said, days after the island’s vice president stopped over in the United States.

Farage called the exercise a “show of intent”. He added: “Were a full-scale attack on the disputed territory of Taiwan to be successful, global instability would surely follow. Were it to fail – presumably at great financial cost to China – its economy would collapse further still.”

Taiwanese Vice President William Lai’s recent trip to Paraguay to reinforce relations with his government’s last diplomatic partner in South America included stops in San Francisco and New York City.

Visits such as these anger the ruling Communist Party which claim Taiwan is a rogue province and therefore has no right to conduct diplomatic relations with foreign powers.

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A spokesperson for China’s Eastern Theater Command said in a brief statement that the military exercises involved the coordination of vessels and planes and their ability to seize control of air and sea spaces.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that its forces detected 45 Chinese military aircraft and nine vessels around the island between 6am Saturday and 6am Sunday.

It said 27 of the planes, including Su-30, J-10 and J-11 fighters, crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait – an unofficial boundary considered a buffer between the island and the mainland – and entered the island’s air defence identification zone.

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