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Taiwan Strait crisis can mutate into war warns top US think tank 

Taiwanese soldiers from 269th Mechanized practice with live ammunition in a day and night joint operation exercise (Photo: Taiwan Ministry of National Defense)

US think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has listed the tensions between Taiwan and China as the top potential conflict to watch out for in 2023. The CFR released the 2023 edition of the Preventive Priorities Survey on Wednesday under which it evaluated 30 ongoing and potential conflicts and their impact on US interests.

CFR has divided these conflicts into three tiers according to the probability of occurrence during 2023 and the degree of their impact on US interests. It has ranked the “severe cross-strait crisis” at the highest level among potential conflicts for the third year consecutively.

Taiwan News reports that the “escalating coercive pressure” exerted by China on Taiwan at military and other levels, has triggered a “severe cross-strait crisis” that is beginning to involve the US and other countries in the region.

The CFR report highlights regions or issues that hold the risk of the US getting involved in a military confrontation with either China or Russia with the possibility of the US getting involved with both the powers simultaneously owing to the war in Ukraine and the tensions in Taiwan, North Korea and Iran.

CFRs Tier-1 conflicts now concern either potential flashpoints involving the major powers like the US and China in hotspots like Taiwan or crises triggered by nuclear weapons development by countries like Iran and North Korea.

Another Tier-1 conflict identified in the immediate vicinity of Taiwan is the one caused by China ally North Korea’s development and testing of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles.

The CFR lists as Tier-2 the likelihood of China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea where it could likely get into an armed confrontation with the US and its allies.

Also Read: China mounts pressure to keep US and India apart, says Pentagon report