None of that matters. All economies are propelled by a tidal wave of belief. As long as China believes it’s the biggest and the best, it’ll remain so. Much like the US, in fact, who aren’t going to risk upsetting their own smoke-and-mirrors game.
Well, see, this is the point. The Chinese government cannot risk upsetting a billion-odd somewhat fractious Chinese people, not over some crappy little island. Unless they’re completely, utterly, Kim-Jong-Un-grade crazy. So I’m pretty confident that even if Taiwan were 100% defenceless, China just wouldn’t bother.
Not really, no. As you suggested yourself, the simplest solution to this issue would be for China to first bomb the crap out of any defensive capacity that Taiwan might have, and I believe they’re quite well-equipped to do this.
Dunno, but I would guess the opinions of a soldier’s parents don’t override the orders of said soldier’s commanding officer. At least, not unless the parents reckon it’s time for another glorious revolution. Again, China starting a war with Taiwan could have all sorts of complicated internal repercussions.