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Taiwan Strait

CrisisWatch Taiwan Strait

Unchanged Situation

China conducted third-largest aerial incursion into Taiwan’s air defence zone this year and vowed to fight at all costs if Taiwan pursued independence. Chinese incursions into Taiwanese airspace continued through month, totalling 81 planes as of 27 June. Notably, 29 aircraft 21 June entered air defence identification zone in third largest sortie this year; Taiwan same day scrambled jets to warn off Chinese aircraft. U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft 24 June flew over Taiwan Strait. Earlier, China’s Eastern Theatre Command 1 June conducted “joint combat-readiness patrol” around Taiwan, following large-scale exercise around island one week prior. U.S. 9 June approved $120mn arms deal to Taiwan in fourth such sale under U.S. Biden administration; China same day strongly condemned deal as violation of past U.S.-China agreements. U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin 10-12 June affirmed Biden administration’s unchanged Taiwan policy at Shangri-La Dialogue international summit held in Singapore and accused China of growing coercion; Austin also committed to strengthening “guardrails against conflict” by maintaining communication with Beijing. During meeting with Austin on sidelines of summit, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Feng reportedly said China would not hesitate to commence war if Taiwan pursued independence; Wei also publicly warned Chinese military will fight at all costs against Taiwan’s pursuit of independence. Chinese foreign ministry 13 June said “China enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait” and “there is no such thing as ‘international waters’ in [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea]”; U.S. same day affirmed Taiwan Strait is “international waterway”, while Taiwan next day rebuffed Beijing’s statement as “false claim”. Leader of Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party Eric Chu during visit to U.S. 6 June said that “1992 consensus” remains key to KMT engagement with Beijing, but both sides are free to interpret what “one China” means.

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Reports & Briefings

China and Taiwan: Uneasy Détente

China and Taiwan: Uneasy Détente

Taiwan Strait IV: How an Ultimate Political Settlement Might Look

Taiwan Strait IV: How an Ultimate Political Settlement Might Look

Taiwan Strait III: The Chance of Peace

Taiwan Strait III: The Chance of Peace

Taiwan Strait II: The Risk of War

Taiwan Strait II: The Risk of War

Taiwan Strait I: What’s Left of ‘One China’?

Taiwan Strait I: What’s Left of ‘One China’?

Latest Updates

Q&A / Asia

China’s Military Activities Near Taiwan Aim to Impress at Home and Abroad

The number of Chinese military flights near Taiwan has soared in recent days. In this Q&A, our expert Amanda Hsiao says Beijing is not only demonstrating its objections to deepening U.S.-Taiwan ties, but also warning the broader international community against getting closer to Taiwan.   

Briefing / Asia

China and Taiwan: Uneasy Détente

After drifting toward crisis for much of 2004, the outlook for stability across the Taiwan Strait has improved.

Report / Asia

Taiwan Strait IV: How an Ultimate Political Settlement Might Look

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.

Report / Asia

Taiwan Strait III: The Chance of Peace

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.

Report / Asia

Taiwan Strait II: The Risk of War

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.