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

Tensions remained high between Taiwan and China as U.S. approved more military support to Taipei and China maintained intense military activity around island. 

Elevated cross-strait tensions persisted. China Defence Minister Dong Jun 1 June warned at Shangri-la dialogue that any pursuit of Taiwan’s independence would be met with force, leading to “destruction”, and accused external forces of creating dangerous situation for island; 21 June ramped up pressure by issuing new legal guidelines to punish those it says support Taipei’s independence, notably threatening to impose death penalty against “diehard” separatists; Taiwan President Lai Ching-te of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 24 June responded by reiterating that autocracy is the real “evil”. Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council 6 June reported Taiwanese tourist detained for a few days in Fujian province, China, marking first time member of tour group was detained. Meanwhile, opposition party Kuomintang leader Fu Kun-chi 10 June criticised Lai for antagonising China and emphasised importance of maintaining friendly relations with all countries. 

U.S. continued military support to Taiwan. U.S. 18 June approved $360mn arms sale to Taiwan, including hundreds of armed drones and missile equipment. Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Forum 6 June held closed-door meeting in Taipei, while U.S. Pentagon 5 June approved $3bn sale of F-16 spare parts to Taiwan. Meanwhile, G7 leaders 14 June issued joint communiqué during two-day summit held in Italy, stressing importance of “peace and stability” across Taiwan Strait, affirming support for Taiwan’s “meaningful participation in international organisations” where statehood is no prerequisite or, if it is, that Taiwan be granted observer or guest status. 

China maintained military activity around Taiwan. As of 26 June, Taiwan detected 579 Chinese military aircrafts around island, of which at least 391 either crossed unofficial “median line”, entered south-western airspace or were detected within Taiwan’s de facto air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Taiwan reported 391 sightings of Chinese navy vessels in surrounding waters. Taiwanese Defence Minister Wellington Koo 18 June confirmed sighting of Chinese nuclear-powered submarine in Taiwan Strait, surfacing near Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands where it was later joined by Chinese military vessel. 


Taiwan Strait

Cross-strait tensions rose as new Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te articulated tougher cross-strait posture in inaugural address, prompting China to issue threats and launch major military drills.

Incoming president signalled new posture, triggering China’s “punishment” drills. Marking start of unprecedented third term for Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), President-elect Lai Ching-te 20 May assumed office and gave inaugural address in which he firmly asserted Taiwan’s sovereignty and refrained from reaffirming predecessor Tsai Ing-wen’s conciliatory nod to Beijing’s “one China” position; he urged China “to cease their political and military intimidation against Taiwan” and cautioned that so long as Beijing does not renounce use of force its “ambition to annex Taiwan will not simply disappear”. In response, China next day described Lai as “disgraceful” and remarked “all Taiwan independence separatists will be nailed to the pillar of shame in history”. In first such drills since April 2023 when then-U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy visited Taiwan, China 22 May commenced two-day military exercises in five zones encircling Taiwan as well as around Taiwan’s islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Wuqiu, and Dongyin near Chinese coast. Chinese law enforcement vessels took part in exercises around Taiwan’s outlying islands, as well as to Taiwan’s south west and east. Beijing said activities were aimed at “punishing” Lai and testing Beijing’s ability to “seize power” and “occupy key areas”. U.S. 25 May expressed deep concern and urged Beijing to act with restraint. 

Domestic political tensions rose in Taiwan. Legislation tabled by opposition parties Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) to grant legislature increased scrutinising powers over the executive passed 28 May; ruling DPP sees bill as attempt to undermine its control of executive and said it would seek constitutional review of bill. Protests took place over multiple days, totalling tens of thousands outside parliament, over opposition’s attempt to fast-track bill’s passage and its contents. 

U.S. continued support for Taiwan. Reports 14 May revealed that U.S. and Taiwan in April conducted unofficial joint naval drills in Pacific to boost cooperation, involving multiple military assets and basic operations. Since Lai’s inauguration, two U.S. congressional delegations visited Taiwan. 


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”.

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