China’s public wants to make a living, not war, writes Tao Wang for Foreign Policy

Dr Tao Wang, Hallsworth Research Fellow, discusses the lack of appetite for a war over Taiwan amidst discontent about China’s economy.

In the article for Foreign Policy , Wang writes that ’the mood among [Chinese] social media users is a sharp departure from past elections’, referring to the recent Taiwanese presidential election:

’In 2024, however, things have changed. The most recent Taiwanese presidential election-in which the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a repeat victory-served as an uncomfortable reminder to the Chinese public that neither Taiwanese politicians nor voters are interested in Beijing’s plans for political unification. Although the forceful unification narrative still exists, any push from nationalists to reignite war fever has now run into a wall of skepticism following the DPP victory.’

Tao Wang is Hallsworth Research Fellow in Chinese Political Economy.