The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is hindered by the “real risk of future conflict” with China, according to Perth USAsia Centre CEO Gordon Flake.
“It is rather sobering to move from one story to another to talk about the difficulty and the pain and the cost of one conflict which is now 20 years old in Afghanistan and yet to talk about the real risk of future conflict, one with our biggest trading partner,” he told Sky News.
“The risk has gone up, and it’s gone up as Chinese capabilities have gone up, as China has become increasingly aggressive in that they have been pushing on a range of issues in a way that serves to destabilize what had been a relatively reasonable peaceful economic focussed area.”
Mr. Flake said China had set its sights on assimilating Taiwan in the same way they had with Hong Kong and removing “any pretense” of one country’s two systems.
“Given what’s happened in Hong Kong, any pretense of one country two systems peaceful unification with Taiwan seems to have gone out the window,” he said. “A vibrant democratic society like Taiwan would have no interest in being like Hong Kong today, and that trend leads to ever-increasing tensions between the mainland and Taiwan and is dangerous and should be seen as such and prepared for as such.”