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What a wonderful question!

This is the key question that everyone ignores. The islands are closest to Taiwan actually, and Taiwan has an extremely formidable defensive navy and airforce. If it were

just Taiwan vs. Japan, Taiwan would have a fairly decent chance to win all on its own.

There are 2 roughly equally sized camps on this issue in Taiwan from what I understand:

  1. The no-action camp
  2. The anti-Japanese, pro-"Chinese People" camp who believes that even if the CCP is the enemy from within, Japan is still the enemy from without, and thus the interests of the Chinese people as a whole are greater than the interests of either the CCP or KMT alone.
Since the KMT is in power, both politically and socially, I think the latter camp has more clout. But if Beijing unilaterally decides to cross the Rubicon, Taiwan will not be able to act in time.

Were I in Xi's shoes, I would try and strike a secret deal with the KMT on this. Taiwan would be the decisive trump card in this faceoff against Japan.

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