China approaches ‘day of decision’ over Taiwan reunification after Xi issues major threat to US

China approaches ‘day of decision’ over Taiwan reunification after Xi issues major threat to US

Expert David Brat discusses China's 'decision day'

GB News
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 12/01/2024

- 19:08

Updated: 12/01/2024

- 19:39

The Taiwan presidential election has been framed as a choice between 'war and peace'

A leading US economist has warned that a "day of decision is coming up" for China, an expert has warned, just days after the Chinese defence ministry told the US to stop "hyping up" and "manipulating" the crisis with Taiwan.

Dr David Brat told GBN America that it will be "interesting" to see which "side they [China] take eventually" amid issues over Taiwanese independence and world trade.

It comes ahead of the Taiwan presidential election on Saturday which has been framed as a choice between "war and peace".

Discussing China's threat to the US during a military summit in Washington in which Beijing accused Washington of "hyping up" Taiwan, Dr Brat said: "I don't think we're hyping it up.

"I don't think it's really in our interest to hype anything up, I think it's a matter of, you know after World War 2, the US along with the UK and Western Europe set up the Bretton Woods liberal world order.

\u200bDr David Brat

Dr David Brat told GB News that it will be 'interesting' to see which 'side they [China] take eventually' amid issues over Taiwanese independence and world trade

"And one of the chief goals of that was to set up a safety of the sea lanes for trade with all the trading partners.

"So everybody knows how much World Trade goes through the South China Sea, etc and that is not up for negotiation - you have a couple issues there."

A military summit on Tuesday failed to resolve any differences between the two with China demanding that the US stop supplying weapons to Taiwan and withdraw forces from the South China Sea.

Dr Brat added: "It's going to be interesting to see where they come down on some of these issues where they're going to have to take a side eventually. They're they're very smart and diplomatic. But their [China's] day of decision I think is coming up."


The former US Congressman's comments come ahead of Taiwan's most closely contested presidential election since the Asian democracy’s first in 1996.

Speaking about the risk of a Chinese invasion, Dr Brat told GBN America: "China can play a lot of cards in kind of a passive way and do a lot of damage.

"Right down in the Philippines, they're pinging some smaller outer perimeter islands. They can do that around Taiwan, they can have their Coast Guard ping ships and say, hey we're just checking on safety, to a point that it hinders business.

"And then it's a point of when does Taiwan say no to that, when does the US say no to that. And so I mean that those are probably the first place that starts to show a little more heat in the area."

Tsai Ing-wen

President Tsai Ing-wen will go head to head against other presidential candidates on Saturday


President Xi of China has previously warned that he reserves the right to take the island by force.

However, Dr Brat argues that the US is more of a threat to China - ruling out an attack.

He added: "I don't think they're going to attack, right? In the US, trade is 20 per cent of our GDP and then China is 25 per cent of our trade.

"So I used to teach economics, that's only 5 per cent, right? So China's a direct threat to 5 per cent of our economy. Of course, they can do damage, but we're a much larger threat to their economy."

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