Trung Quốc chuẩn bị xâm lược Đài Loan?

à, đấy là sử gia Niall Ferguson nói thế,

có thể có chiến tranh nóng ở Đài Loan như cuộc chiến Bán đảo Triều Tiên,

nếu ông Tập tính sai cờ, rằng Nga chiếm Crimea thì chính quyền Obama cũng chỉ trừng phạt tài chính, nước Mỹ thì vừa mới rút quân (một cách lộn xộn) khỏi Afghanistan...

lịch sử chưa cáo chung năm 1989 (khi Liên Xô sụp đổ), Chiến tranh Lạnh chưa kết thúc, chỉ là thay player mới China, 20 năm qua, Mỹ bị phân tâm, đi lòng vòng với Trung Đông, các chiến binh Hồi giáo...  
Sunset over Taipei City. Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash.

Q: "Cold war" means that the two superpowers (cường quốc) don't fight militarily. Do you anticipate this situation will continue for decades? What do you expect to be the chance of a military conflict (xung đột quân sự) between them?

A: It's worth remembering that in "Cold War I," within a very short space of time, there was a hot war (chiến tranh nóng), over Korea. So, I think there's a significance chance that "Cold War II" has a hot phase, and the obvious place where that could happen is Taiwan. That could happen quite soon.

The question that we all have to try to answer is, "How willing is Xi Jinping to gamble (đánh bạc, đặt cược) on military action (hành động quân sự)?" -- knowing that to take on the United States is extremely risky, but also knowing that this is probably the best moment to do it that he'll ever have, given that the U.S. does not have good, credible deterrence (ngăn chặn, cản trở) with respect to Taiwan.

Big wars usually happen when the aggressor thinks that time is not on its side and that it's better to act sooner rather than wait. The Biden administration's abandonment (bỏ rơi) of Afghanistan is a kind of signal that they probably won't fight over anything. If you were Xi Jinping, [you'd think] that as it happened over Crimea, the Biden administration, like the Obama administration before it, would just do financial sanctions (trừng phạt tài chính) and leave it to that.

So, if you're prepared to take that hit, you'll probably get away with your annexation (sáp nhập). In this case, it's actually not annexation because you, China, have said all along it really belongs to China and the U.S. basically accepted that, since the 1970s. So, I'm worried that the Chinese think they can do this now, that it's better to do it now than 10 years from now, and the U.S. has kind of encouraged that, by the way the Biden administration has acted this year.

I don't know what would happen. If, next year, there was a sudden invasion (xâm lược) of Taiwan, what would they do? What would Jake Sullivan say to Joe Biden?

My sense is that, with the Biden administration, they might actually end up going to war, because the alternative would be to abandon predominance  (trạng thái chiếm ưu thế) in the Indo-Pacific region. It would be like the Suez crisis if they didn't defend Taiwan. So maybe the Chinese would be wrong. They would gamble that the U.S. wouldn't act, then the U.S. would act, and then we'd have a really big war on our hands. To a historian, that would not be a surprising sequence of events; it would be a really familiar one.

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