Speaking with Chinese President Xi for first time 9 Feb, U.S. President Trump said that he would honour One China policy, in reverse of his previous actions and statements questioning doctrine, which had caused increased tensions in cross-straits relations and between U.S. and China. Move calmed fears among some Taiwanese of possible U.S.-China trade war with economic ramifications for Taiwan. U.S. official 16 Feb said uniformed Marine guards would be posted at American Institute in Taiwan once it is completed.
After drifting toward crisis for much of 2004, the outlook for stability across the Taiwan Strait has improved.
Each side’s most preferred solution for resolving the continuing Taiwan Strait issue – in the case of Taipei, widely recognised de jure independence; and in the case of Beijing, reunification of China on the same ‘one country, two systems’ basis as Hong Kong – are both non-starters.
Apparently irreconcilable positions on the ‘one China’ principle have emerged between China and Taiwan over the last decade, with Taiwan for some time now asserting not only that it is a separate political entity but an independent sovereign country.
China's underlying position on its cross-Strait relations, however strong its current commitment to peaceful diplomacy, is that Taiwan must make sustained, visible progress toward a peaceful settlement or risk a resort to armed hostilities.
In the last decade, Taiwan has moved slowly but surely away from its commitment to the idea of ‘one China’, the proposition, long agreed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, that Taiwan and the mainland are parts of one country.