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World faces risk of a drawn-out war if Taiwan conflict breaks out

Long-term plans sorely needed, as China may never renounce island claim

From left: Presidents Joe Biden of the U.S., Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan and Xi Jinping of China. Bottom: Taiwanese tanks fire during a military drill on Penghu Island in October 2022. (Source photos from AP, Reuters and Yu Nakamura)

TOKYO -- Chinese forces conducted military exercises around Taiwan from April 8 to 10, but the drills were smaller than those carried out in response to former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-governed island last August. Beijing was apparently reluctant to provoke public outrage in Taiwan ahead of the island's presidential election in January 2024.

Nevertheless, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made no secret of his desire to absorb Taiwan, making it virtually certain that tensions in the Taiwan Strait will escalate.

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