On December 9th, 2020, Mr. Richard D. Fisher, Jr. gave a virtual lecture titled Taiwan: China’s Most Important Target On The Way To Global Hegemony. This lecture was a part of The Institute of World Politics’ China Series.
Mr. Fisher is a Senior Fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center. In 2016, he joined the Advisory Board of the Global Taiwan Institute. He has previously worked with the Center for Security Policy, Jamestown Foundation China Brief, U.S. House of Representatives Republican Policy Committee, and The Heritage Foundation.
Mr. Fisher began the lecture by stating that China has a developed plan to achieve global hegemony. He believes that China’s first step is to target Taiwan. As a result, the United States will face the challenge of preserving the autonomy of Taiwan. This test of American global leadership is one of the most crucial: failing is not an option.
In examining China’s desire for global hegemony, Mr. Fisher believes that Communist China must start with the conquest of Taiwan. Ultimately, this is where the geography of the Chinese Communist Party hegemony begins. Evident in its treatment of Taiwan, Mr. Fisher also notes that the CCP seeks unification through intimidation. Ultimately, China intimidates its opponents by increasing its capabilities. Mr. Fisher mentioned that the Global Times stated on December 5, 2020, that peaceful unification now requires military force. Intimidation is at the root of China’s strategy to create peaceful unification.
Mr. Fisher stated that the military power of the People’s Liberation Army is growing and will be even greater between 2030 and 2040. Unfortunately, if such an invasion occurs, Taiwan will become a hub for the PLA’s projection of global power. Moreover, through the establishment of proto-alliances, the People’s Liberation Army has been able to increase its power internationally. China has formed these proto-alliances to assert its control and influence over crucial regions that China deems significant. Examples of China’s proto-alliances include the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the China Africa Peace and Security Forum. Another issue he examines is the Chinese Communist Party’s desire for space hegemony. Acquiring Taiwan’s space launch facilities could strengthen China’s capabilities in this endeavor.
Additionally, Mr. Fisher noted that China wants to attack Taiwan to demonstrate to Chinese citizens that Taiwan’s democracy is not acceptable; China will never allow democracy as an option. Such actions would also demonstrate to South Korea, Japan, and Australia that the United States cannot ensure their security, indicating that alliances with Washington are futile. Taiwan, Mr. Fisher believes, is the ideal place for the People’s Liberation Army to display its power to the world.
Mr. Fisher stated that China’s military and technological capabilities are increasing, and its plan is to attack Taiwan with robot weapons. The start of a war with Taiwan would create major issues across the globe. In closing, Mr. Fisher explained that the United States possesses the capabilities to prevent such an attack on Taiwan. He emphasized that the U.S. must be vigilant and continue to deter China’s mission of global hegemony.