Taiwan Strait

CrisisWatch Taiwan Strait

Unchanged Situation

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.

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In The News

14 Nov. 2023
The Xi-Biden meeting provides an … opportunity for the two leaders to convey to each other that neither seeks to overturn the status quo or kinetic conflict. Newsweek

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China
7 März 2023
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. The Guardian

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China
19 Dez. 2022
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. CNA

Ivy Kwek

Giustra Fellow, China
27 Aug. 2022
[Western politicians] increasingly view a visit to Taiwan as an opportunity to signal their anti-China bona fides for domestic political reasons. The Guardian

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China

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