No matter what immediate tit-for-tat reactions there are to the visit, the troubling long-term implication points to the urgent need for the Biden administration and Congress to better coordinate their handling of the Taiwan issue.
China maintained frequent aerial and maritime activity around island, while opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) went to China, and U.S. and Taiwan exchanged visits by senior officials.
China continued military presence around island. As of 27 Feb, Taiwan detected 311 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence identification zone (ADIZ) during month, of which at least 110 either crossed unofficial maritime demarcation known as “median line” or were detected in south-western ADIZ near strategic Bashi Channel; Taiwan reported 109 sightings of Chinese naval vessels in surrounding waters in course of month. Notably, Taiwan 1 Feb activated missile systems and scrambled jets in response to operations by 34 Chinese military aircraft and nine warships, including 20 aircraft crossing median line.
Taiwan opposition delegation visited China. Ahead of Taiwan’s presidential election in Jan 2024, main opposition party KMT’s Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia 8-17 Feb led delegation to China, meeting with newly appointed Director of Taiwan Affairs Office Song Tao and China’s top Taiwan affairs official Wang Huning; KMT said visit concerned needs of Taiwanese based in China, Chinese business regulations and developing ties with Chinese officials; Song and Wang both expressed China’s desire to enhance mutual trust and cooperation with KMT on basis of “1992 consensus”. Shanghai’s Taiwan Affairs Office officials 18-20 Feb visited Taiwan following invitation by Taipei city authorities, marking first visit by Chinese officials to Taiwan since borders reopened last Oct.
Taiwan and U.S. continued defence ties and exchanged visits by senior officials. Taiwan 8 Feb signed two contracts with U.S. worth total of $85mn to maintain its fleet of F-16 fighter jets. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Chase 17 Feb arrived in Taiwan, marking visit by most senior U.S. defence official since 2019. Bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation 21 Feb met President Tsai, who confirmed two countries “continue to bolster military exchanges”. Reports late month indicated U.S. looking to expand its small troop presence in Taiwan to help train Taiwanese forces. FM Joseph Wu and National Security Council Sec Gen Wellington Ku 23 Feb visited Washington for security dialogue with senior U.S. officials, including Deputy Sec State Wendy Sherman.
Beijing will have to publicly condemn [Taiwan President] Tsai’s visit to the US, their ultimate response will depend on what Tsai says and who she meets with on her trip.
At the moment, we think that China has not fully developed the capability to guarantee a sure victory if it chooses to launch a military option on Taiwan.
[Western politicians] increasingly view a visit to Taiwan as an opportunity to signal their anti-China bona fides for domestic political reasons.
China's announced military exercises represent a clear escalation from the existing baseline of Chinese military activities around Taiwan [...]. Beijing is signalling tha...
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is planning a visit to Taiwan in early August. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Amanda Hsiao identifies steps the U.S. and China can take to keep frictions minimal should her trip proceed.
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.
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.
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