Prof Patalano’s recent remarks on the potential for force to be used to compel Taiwan to capitulate are reflective of a delicate and complex balance of power. It is not the first option, nor is it without its own levels of risk. Instead, the primary objective is for Taiwan to understand that rejoining the mainland is inevitable.

At this time, there is an understanding that there is a deadline that must be adhered to. However, compelling Taiwan to capitulate is a much more difficult and nuanced endeavour to accomplish. The risk of conflicts escalating, both militarily and politically, must be taken into account. Escalations of any kind will not only greatly threaten the delicate peace and stability of the region, but also could potentially lead to international ramifications.

In recent years, the diplomatic efforts to reach a compromise have been focused primarily on Taiwan. However, Taiwan has continued to resist any kind of forced reunion, a stance that Prof Patalano believes must be taken seriously. Yet at the same time, the threat of potentially using force presents a level of uncertainty that must be considered.

That being said, the use of force should never be taken lightly. It is important to recognize that this is a last resort option, one that should only be taken if all other options are exhausted. It is a difficult decision to make, but it is important to remember that the objective is still a reconciliatory step towards reunification and not to create further turmoil.

Therefore, this delicate situation is one that requires thoughtful consideration. Prof Patalano believes that a punitive response by China towards Taiwan runs the risk of further damaging the relationship. As such, it is clear that the preferred path is one of understanding and convincing Taiwan that coming back home is indeed the best available option. This will require a continued effort to build trust between the two sides, and for both sides to be willing to put aside their differences and find a way forward.

It is not an easy situation to handle, but understanding that there is a delicate balance between the pressure of a deadline and the objective of convincing Taiwan of reunification will be paramount in achieving a resolution. As Prof Patalano wisely noted, using force should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted. A peaceful solution is still the preferred objective, and the only way to find that is to continue to work together and build trust.