Chinese honour guard raise the Chinese flag during the commissioning ceremony of China's Shandong aircraft carrier (Image: Li Gang)

Now that Beijing has imposed its harsh new National Security Laws on Hong Kong, the next big question is if -- or when -- will Xi Jinping make his move on Taiwan?

With so-called Taiwanese “reunification” with the mainland is at the very top of the Chinese Communist Party’s colonising wishlist, that question then begs one for Australia: would we join a US-backed defence of Taiwan?

Beijing has long held out the offer to Taiwan of “reunification” in the shape of the “one country, two systems” formula it sold to the United Kingdom over Hong Kong. It promised Hong Kong could keep its Common Law legal system, relative political independence and civil rights from the 1997 handover for 50 years.