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By: Dr. Strobe Driver

The Brink of 2036: Why There Must Be a War in the Asia-Pacific

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War and conflict never occur ‘in a vacuum,’ as there are always signallers and events that indicate and then dictate the onset of an upheaval. This has been true of relatively minor conflicts such as the Japan – Russo War of (1904 – 1905), the Vietnam War (1963 – 1975), the Afghanistan War (2001 – ongoing) and the major ‘total wars’ of World War One (1914 – 1918); and World War Two (1939 – 1945). There is a new and emerging war that is about to happen and its epicentre will be in the Asia-Pacific, and more specifically, the historic, contemporary and emerging issues associated with China – Taiwan tensions are a continuum; and show no sign of abatement or downward-moderation. The signals are there and they consist of but are not limited to, the historic baggage of China’s ‘ownership’ of Taiwan; of this factor being rejected by consecutive governments of Taiwan; China’s increasing sclerotic (irredentist) demands and policies toward Taiwan; the steadfastness of Taiwan’s attempts at recognition as an independent cum sovereign entity; other Asia-Pacific and international actors attempting to intervene in the region; and the uncertainties associated with who will help defend Taiwan. All are signals. Within them there is and remains a continuous rise in tensions of which – and is held within the title of this book – remains the ‘tipping point’ of 2036. There are many reasons for this date to be used as a pivot point and they are explored in detail in the lead up to this date, and whilst the outcome is due to current machinations not subsiding (and will only continue to deteriorate), the contention is and remains not whether a war will occur, but when. The magnitude of the war that will take place demands the inherent complexities be considered, understood and explored in detail. This book is a significant step in that direction.

Dr. Strobe Driver writes both journalism-style and peer-reviewed articles since completing a doctorate in war studies in 2010 and has a decade-plus history as a university lecturer and tutor specialising in history, war studies and the social sciences. His writing centres on war, conflict, terrorism international relations, counter-factual analysis and in more recent times Asia-Pacific security—with a particular focus on China-Taiwan relations and the historic, current and emerging tensions therein. This book is an extension to his PhD and of his (2018) independent analysis of the deepening China-Taiwan crisis. His previous thorough analysis was entitled Asia-Pacific and Cross Strait Machinations: Challenges for Taiwan in the Nascent Phase of Pax-Sino. He continues to write on the aforementioned subjects as an independent and freelance analyst.

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