Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.



Taiwan Strait

China continued its military activity around Taiwan and increased engagement with Taiwanese opposition, while U.S. demonstrated support to Taipei with military aid package.

China continued military activity around Taiwan. As of 29 April, Taiwan detected 397 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which 212 crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected inside Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ); notably, Taiwan 3 April spotted twenty planes in ADIZ, with total of 30 planes around Taiwan. Taiwan reported 260 sightings of Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. China 17 April confirmed it sent fighter jets to monitor and warn U.S. Navy patrol aircraft flying over Taiwan Strait, following call between Chinese and U.S. defence officials. 

China stepped up engagement with Taiwanese opposition. President Xi Jinping 10 April met with former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou in China in bid to demonstrate viability of peaceful unification to both domestic and international audiences. Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang 26-28 April sent delegation to China, announcing that China was willing to lift some import bans and reopen some cross-strait travel as result of trip. 

U.S. continued military support to Taiwan. After bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation 28 March met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and pledged continued support, U.S. President Biden 24 April signed $1.2tn spending package containing $8.1bn foreign military allocation for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific countries to bolster their defences and counter Chinese influence in region. KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia 4-14 April visited U.S. and met lawmakers and others to discuss KMT’s foreign policy. Taiwan Naval Commander Admiral Tang Hua 8-10 April attended U.S. Navy Sea League conference in U.S., where he emphasised global implications of Chinese military action against Taiwan and advocated continued U.S.-Taiwan military exchanges. 

In another important development. Senior U.S. State Dept officials 15 April met Deputy Director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office in rare meeting in Chinese capital Beijing to discuss Taiwan issue; U.S. reaffirmed its long-standing “One-China” policy and importance of maintaining peace and stability in Taiwan Strait. 


Taiwan Strait

Dispute between Taiwan and China over jurisdiction of waters around Kinmen Islands persisted as Beijing maintained military activity around Taiwan and U.S. continued support for Taipei. 

Tensions persisted with Beijing around Kinmen Islands. Following 14 Feb incident in which two Chinese nationals drowned off coast of Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, Chinese vessels continued patrols in restricted and prohibited waters around islands. Negotiations between China and Taiwan early March faltered, with Taiwan’s coast guard stating Chinese officials made demands incompatible with Taiwan’s legal system. Taiwan and China 14 March jointly conducted rescue mission after fishing vessel capsized near Kinmen; China 17 March rescued two fishermen, reportedly with Taiwan’s assistance. Four Chinese coast guard ships 15 and 16 March entered Kinmen’s waters, reportedly loitering for hours on 16 March; Taiwan’s coast guard patrol shadowed the vessels and broadcast warnings until they left.

China maintained military activity around Taiwan. As of 31 March, Taiwan detected 470 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which at least 172 crossed unofficial “median line” or entered Taiwan’s de facto air defence identification zone; Taiwan spotted 270 Chinese naval vessels in surrounding waters. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry 8 March clarified that any intrusion by China across Taiwan’s territorial borders is considered act of aggression. USS John Finn 5 March completed its second transit of Taiwan Strait in 2024.

U.S. continued diplomatic and military support to Taiwan. U.S. President Biden 7 March made his first reference to Taiwan during a State of Union address, emphasising U.S. commitment to peace and stability in Taiwan Strait; White House 11 March allocated $100mn for Taiwan’s military assistance, marking first standalone mention of island in budget report. Taiwan 14 March confirmed U.S. Army Special Forces are stationed on Taiwan’s outlying islands for training and exchange purposes. Meanwhile, Australia and Malaysia 5 March issued joint statement recognising importance of peace in Taiwan Strait. South Korea’s envoy in Taiwan 6 March announced visits from significant South Korean figures to Taiwan are expected to increase. Russian President Putin 18 March claimed Taiwan is part of China, triggering prompt refutation by Taiwan. 


Taiwan Strait

China commenced regular law enforcement patrols in Kinmen waters to challenge Taiwan’s jurisdiction after drowning of two Chinese fishermen; U.S. and China continued talks to manage competition. 

Beijing seized maritime incident to challenge Taipei’s authority in Kinmen waters. Two Chinese fishermen 14 Feb drowned as result of chase by Taiwan’s Coast Guard off coast of Taiwan’s Kinmen Island, located close to China’s mainland, after Chinese vessel allegedly sailed approximately one nautical mile off Kinmen’s coast. Chinese officials 17 Feb denied existence of prohibited and restricted waters around Kinmen, declared by Taiwan, and 18 Feb announced regular patrols around Kinmen, which began next day. Chinese coast guard vessel 19 Feb briefly boarded Taiwanese tourist boat. Taiwan’s coast guard 20 Feb said it had expelled Chinese coast guard vessel in waters near Kinmen by verbally telling vessel to leave. Five Chinese coast guard vessels 26 Feb entered Kinmen’s prohibited or restricted waters. China 28 Feb said Taiwan’s ruling party lied about drowning incident, called on Taipei to meet demands of, and apologise to, victims’ families. 

China continued military activity. As of 28 Feb, Taiwan detected 275 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which at least 84 either crossed unofficial “median line” or were seen in Taiwan’s de facto air defence identification zone; Taiwan spotted 256 Chinese naval vessels in surrounding waters. According to Japanese officials cited by media, China has four warships constantly deployed around Taiwan, aiming to pressure Taipei and prevent U.S. ships from approaching in case of regional conflict. 

U.S. and China continued diplomatic engagement. China’s top diplomat Wang Yi 16 Feb emphasised one-China principle in his meeting with U.S. Sec of State Antony Blinken, stating that stability in Taiwan Strait depends on U.S. not supporting “Taiwan independence”; meeting followed another between Wang Yi and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan late Jan, where pair agreed to prevent relationship from veering into conflict. 

Beijing emphasised progress toward peaceful unification. In annual meeting on Taiwan, senior Chinese leader Wang Huning 23 Feb stated China “must resolutely combat” Taiwan independence and “further grasp the strategic initiative to achieve the complete reunification of the motherland.”


Taiwan Strait

Taiwan’s incumbent party won unprecedented third presidential term, as China downplayed result and refrained from significantly intensifying military activity around island.

Democratic Progress Party (DPP) won presidential election. Taiwan’s incumbent DPP secured historic third term in 13 Jan presidential poll, which elected William Lai as new president having emerged with 40% of vote; DPP, however, did not secure majority in Legislative Yuan as it won only 51 seats, while opposition Kuomintang won 52, likely reflecting voters’ frustration over domestic issues. In response, China same day dismissively stated election result “does not represent mainstream opinion in Taiwan” and reiterated commitment to complete national unification. Taiwan’s senior representative in U.S. 19 Jan described status quo as “neither unification, neither independence”; Chinese embassy 23 Jan responded that “independence forces are trying to stoke confrontation and antagonism”. 

China maintained military activity in Taiwan Strait. As of 29 Jan, Taiwan detected 318 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which 89 either crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected inside Taiwan’s air defence identification zone – approximately on par with activity in Dec; notably, over thirteen planes 27 Jan crossed “median line”. Taiwan spotted 132 Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. Taiwan reported significant increase in balloons from China crossing “median line”, tallying at least 22 in Jan compared to seven in Dec. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry 9 Jan issued nationwide emergency alert after China launched satellite which passed through Taiwan’s airspace. USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier 11 Jan deployed east of Taiwan; USS John Finn destroyer 24 Jan transited Taiwan Strait. 

U.S. maintained diplomatic support; Nauru severed ties with Taiwan. Senior U.S. delegation 14 Jan met with political leaders in Taiwan, expressing concern about stability in strait. U.S. House of Representatives 12 Jan passed “Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act of 2023” and “PROTECT Taiwan Act” aimed at advocating Taiwan’s membership of International Monetary Fund and countering Beijing’s efforts to exclude island from financial institutions. Meanwhile, Pacific nation Nauru 15 Jan severed ties and aligned with China, leaving Taiwan with just twelve states recognising it; Pacific island Tuvalu late Jan signalled it would review ties with Taiwan after its own election.


Taiwan Strait

Cross-strait tensions heightened ahead of Taiwan’s tight January election as China maintained military activity and described reunification as an “inevitability”.

China stepped up stern rhetoric in final days before Taiwan’s high-stakes election. Competition ahead of 13 Jan presidential and legislative polls remained fierce, with polls during Dec indicating that support for incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) remain within five percentage points, underscoring chance DPP may secure unprecedented third term. Amid electoral preparation, Taiwan officials warned of China’s potential influence through disinformation, including narratives casting doubts on U.S. credibility as partner and competency of DPP. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office 30 Dec condemned DPP candidate William Lai’s remarks at recent debate, calling him “the instigator of a potential dangerous war in the Taiwan Strait”. In New Year’s address, China’s leader Xi Jinping 31 Dec described “reunification” with Taiwan as “historical inevitability”. If DPP wins vote, China will likely opt for show of force, stepping up its military activities in strait as well as economic and other forms of coercion in bid to deter new DPP govt from crossing its red line, namely declaration of formal independence; such actions heighten risk of misjudgement or miscalculation. Alternatively, if KMT or smaller Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) wins, cross-strait tensions might ease, at least temporarily, and prospects for cross-strait dialogue could improve.

Chinese military maintained pressure on island ahead of vote. As of 31 Dec, Taiwan spotted 313 Chinese military aircraft around island during Dec, of which at least 92 crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone; Taiwan sighted 172 Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. Notably, China’s Shandong aircraft carrier group 11 Dec sailed through Taiwan Strait.

U.S. moved toward deepening military support for Taiwan. U.S. Senate 7 Dec passed 2024 National Defense Authorisation Act, which calls for military cooperation with Taiwan, including comprehensive training, consultation, and institutional capacity-building plans for Taiwan’s military, as well as military cybersecurity cooperation, and authorises information sharing between U.S. and Taiwan militaries.


Taiwan Strait

China continued military activity around island as presidents Biden and Xi discussed Taiwan face-to-face, while Beijing issued warning ahead of Taiwan’s Jan 2024 general elections.

Chinese military continued operations around island. As of 28 Nov, Taiwan spotted 324 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which at least 98 crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected in Taiwan’s de facto air defence identification zone. Taiwan reported 171 sightings of Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. China’s Shandong aircraft carrier group conducted exercises southeast of Taiwan and 8 Nov traversed Taiwan Strait. U.S. navy destroyer USS Rafael Peralta and Royal Canadian frigate HMCS Ottawa 1 Nov transited Taiwan Strait. Australian warship HMAS Toowomba 23 Nov passed Taiwan Strait.

U.S. and Chinese leaders held in-person meeting and discussed Taiwan. During meeting between U.S. President Biden and China’s President Xi on sidelines of APEC summit in U.S. city San Francisco, Xi 15 Nov stated that Taiwan is “most important and sensitive issue” in U.S.-China relations and called for Washington to stop arming Taiwan and support China’s peaceful unification, while Biden described talks as constructive and effective, and reiterated “one China” policy remained unchanged. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 17 Nov said U.S. will continue to develop military ties with Taiwan amid resumed dialogue with China. Earlier, G7 FMs meeting in Japanese capital Tokyo 8 Nov concluded with joint statement reaffirming importance of peace and stability in Taiwan Strait and supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations.

China warned Taiwan’s presidential candidates of consequences of independence. Ahead of Jan presidential and legislative polls, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office 15 Nov warned that “Taiwan independence” means war, adding that Beijing sees combination of incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s candidate Lai Ching-te and running mate Hsiao Bi-Khim – Taiwan’s de facto representative to U.S. – as “independence plus independence”. Taiwanese premier Chen Chien-jen 14 Nov claimed security agencies had detected China’s interference in upcoming elections. Attempts by Taiwan opposition parties Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) to run on joint ticket fell apart. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s President Tsai 30 Nov assessed Chinese invasion was unlikely as Beijing is overwhelmed with internal challenges.


Taiwan Strait

China maintained military activity around Taiwan, while Taiwan President Tsai struck conciliatory tone as she entered final months of presidency.

Chinese jets and navy vessels continued operations around island. As of 29 Oct, Taiwan spotted 299 Chinese military aircraft around Taiwan, of which at least 100 either crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected in Taiwan’s de facto air defence identification zone; 23 aircraft 26 Oct crossed median line while China aircraft carrier Shandong sailed through Bashi Channel into Western Pacific. Taiwan reported 152 sightings of Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon 12 Oct transited Taiwan Strait in international airspace.

Tsai urged “peaceful coexistence”, Beijing reiterated preconditions for talks. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen 10 Oct urged “peaceful coexistence” with island and called on Beijing to develop a “mutually acceptable foundation” for interactions; she stressed that her administration had maintained cross-strait status quo since 2016, which was critical to ensuring peace. In response, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that acceptance of the “1992 consensus” is precondition for both sides to engage in political dialogue. After opposition party Kuomintang (KMT)’s vice chairman Andrew Hsia late Sept said that KMT should not be labelled as “pro-China party” nor “unification party”, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office 11 Oct responded that remarks “undermine mutual trust between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait”.

In other important developments. Speaking in New York city during his U.S. visit, former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou 16 Oct said that U.S. should play role of peacemaker and broker talks between Taiwan and China; in response, Taiwan’s FM Joseph Wu slammed comments as having undermined Taiwan’s diplomacy. Former Australian PM Scott Morrison 11-12 Oct visited Taiwan to participate in govt-sponsored Yushan forum, in which he expressed his personal support for Taiwan to participate in international organisations, including “Quad” grouping of U.S., India, Japan and Australia, and called for “modernisation” of Australia’s “one China” policy.


Taiwan Strait

Taiwan voiced concern over “abnormal” Chinese aerial and maritime presence around island, while U.S. maintained strong military and diplomatic support for Taiwan.

Chinese aircraft around Taiwan set new daily record. As of 28 Sept, Taiwan spotted 512 Chinese military aircraft around island, of which at least 216 either crossed unofficial demarcation median line or were detected in Taiwan’s Southwest air defence identification zone; Taiwan sighted 187 Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. Notably, 103 Chinese planes 18 Sept were detected around island – marking highest total for incursions in single day – with 40 crossing median line. After Taiwan’s defence ministry 24 Sept announced it observed Chinese activities near Dacheng Bay in China’s southern Fuijan province, Taiwan’s Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng next day said China’s drills and heightened activity are “quite abnormal”; Kuo-cheng 23 Sept said China’s activity risk “getting out of hand” and expressed concern about accidental clash sparking wider conflict. U.S. guided missile destroyer Ralph Johnson and Canadian navy frigate HMAS Ottawa 9 Sept sailed through Taiwan Strait.

U.S. maintained military and diplomatic support for Taiwan. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan 16 Sept met Chinese FM Wang Yi, raising cross-strait issues. U.S. Sec of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng 18 Sept met in New York on sidelines of UN General Assembly, during which Blinken stressed importance of stability in Taiwan Strait. After U.S. late Aug approved $80mn military package for Taiwan under program typically reserved for sovereign nations, Taiwan and U.S. 20 Sept announced new cooperation deal to build joint cybersecurity supply chain under U.S.-Taiwan Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework.

In other important developments. China’s state council 12 Sept announced measures to encourage Taiwanese citizens to visit, study, work and do business in Fujian province to deepen cross-strait development. Kuomintang party presidential candidate Hou You-ih 15 Sept kicked off eight-day visit to U.S., advocating “3D strategy” for managing cross straits relations that includes deterrence, dialogue and de-escalation. Taiwan 28 Sept launched its first indigenous defense submarine “Narwhal”.


Taiwan Strait

China maintained aerial and maritime military activity as Taiwan’s VP transited U.S., while Washington, Seoul and Tokyo pledged commitment to strait’s stability.

China held military exercises as Taiwan’s VP transited U.S. As of 28 Aug, Taiwan had detected 351 Chinese military aircraft around Taiwan, of which at least 115 crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected in south-western ADIZ; at sea, Taiwan spotted 183 Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. Taiwan’s VP and presidential candidate Lai Ching Te 12 Aug transited New York en route to Paraguay and 15 Aug went through San Francisco during return trip, meeting Taiwanese Americans and representatives of American Institute of Taiwan; upon his return, Lai said Taiwan’s election in 2024 is choice between democracy and autocracy, declaring that China cannot decide outcome. In response, Beijing 18 Aug launched low-key joint air and sea exercise around island. Taiwan’s military 15-17 Aug carried out “precision missile drill” during which air-to-air and anti-ship missiles were fired at decommissioned vessels. China 21 Aug banned import of Taiwan mangoes, citing concern with pests in likely attempt to create political pressures for Taiwan’s ruling party. U.S. 23 Aug approved $500mn sale to Taiwan of F-16 infrared search-and-track systems. Tsai administration 24 Aug proposed 7.7% increase in next year’s defence budget.

U.S., South Korea and Japan voiced support for stability. In historic trilateral meeting between leaders of U.S., Japan and South Korea, trio 18 Aug reaffirmed commitment to peace and stability across Taiwan Strait and called for peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. President Tsai 11 Aug expressed Taiwan’s interest in participating in NATO’s Center of Excellences in Baltic countries, as she urged parliamentary delegations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to help deepen defence cooperation.

High-profile Japanese figures visited Taiwan. Former Japanese PM Taro Aso 7 Aug visited Taiwan and delivered keynote address at regional forum in which he urged international community to “wake up” to worsening situation in Taiwan Strait. Nobuyuki Baba, leader of Japanese parliament’s second-largest opposition party, 2 Aug visited capital Taipei, asserting “Taiwan’s peace is Japan’s peace" and calling for more cooperation on deterrence.


Taiwan Strait

China maintained military activities around island and vowed stern response as presidential candidate of Taiwan’s ruling party planned U.S. visit in August, raising prospect of heightened tensions.

China continued military activity as Taiwan held military drills. As of 26 July, Taiwan during month had spotted 411 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence identification zone (ADIZ), of which at least 156 either crossed unofficial maritime demarcation “median line” or were detected in south-western ADIZ; Taiwan detected 162 Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters throughout month. Notably, China 21-22 July sent 37 aircraft and seven navy vessels around Taiwan. Earlier, Taiwan 3-4 July test fired anti-tank and Stinger missiles. China 12-14 July conducted large-scale exercises with fighter jets, bombers and warships south and south west of island; during drill, U.S. Navy patrol plane flew through Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s army 13 July deployed armoured vehicles, drones and Javelin anti-tank missiles while rehearsing for anti-landing drill scheduled for 27 July in Bali, New Taipei – beach vulnerable to attack by China. Taiwan 24-27 July held its annual Han Kuang military exercises. U.S. House of Representatives 14 July passed National Defense Authorization Act 2024, $876.8bn bill that includes provisions for U.S. to “help Taiwan meet its self-defense needs.”

Beijing warned of strong reaction to U.S. visit by ruling party official. Beijing lodged formal protest with Washington over ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate William Lai Ching-te’s planned stopover in U.S. in August en route to Paraguay, vowing “strong and resolute” action in response to “U.S. indulging and supporting Taiwan independence separatists”. In response, U.S. Sec of State Antony Blinken cautioned Beijing against using transit as “pretext for provocative action”; China’s warnings raise prospect of increased military activity.

Taiwan’s opposition articulated interpretation of “1992 consensus”. Kuomintang presidential nominee Hou Yu-ih 4 July affirmed his support for version of “1992 consensus” echoing party’s long-held position of “one China, different interpretations”; he stated opposition to both “one country, two systems” and President Tsai Ing-wen’s “stigmatisation” of consensus. William Lai Ching-te same day proposed four “pillars” of peace, beginning with Taiwan continuing to build up its defence capabilities.

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