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’s President Xi reiterated goal of reunification, if necessary by force, as Beijing continued high level of aerial activity around island.
China and Taiwan stated respective positions on island’s status. In his speech at opening of 20th Party Congress, Chinese President Xi 16 Oct said China will strive for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but it will never promise to renounce use of force and it reserves option of taking all necessary measures; he warned of “interference by external forces”. In response, Taiwan’s President Tsai same day reiterated Taiwan’s “territorial sovereignty, independence and democracy cannot be compromised” and “military conflict is not an option”. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 26 Oct said Beijing had decided “status quo was no longer acceptable”. Earlier, Tsai’s 10 Oct expressed willingness to work with Beijing “to find a mutually agreeable arrangement”, potentially signalling Taipei’s goodwill to improve cross-straits relations. As of 30 Oct, 425 Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ); 97 aircraft crossed unofficial demarcation known as median line. Chinese naval vessels were sighted 104 times during month.
U.S. reportedly sought deeper defence cooperation with Taiwan. Nikkei Asia media outlet 19 Oct announced U.S. was considering plan for joint weapons production with Taiwan as part of broader move towards greater security assistance; announcement came after Taiwan 1 Oct commissioned largest locally built ship, 10,600-ton amphibious vessel Yu Shan, in significant milestone in govt’s effort to boost indigenous defence production. German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch 2 Oct commenced five-day visit to Taiwan; members of Bundestag's Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid 23 Oct also visited.
[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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