China has positioned the Taiwan election as a choice between war and peace, drawing concerns among experts that Beijing might intensify its pressure campaign against the island after Saturday's presidential and parliamentary election.
"Beijing will use military, economic and political pressure to test whoever wins Taiwan's election," said Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank. "China will likely use those tools to signal its immediate views during the transition while saving the real challenge of Taiwan's next president for after inauguration in May."
Stokes said it remains to be seen whether military-to-military talks will be enough to avoid a crisis, as "no amount of crisis management mechanisms can prevent a showdown if China is intentionally creating one."
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