Liu Chin-tsai

Liu Chin-tsai

Associate Professor, Department of Public Affairs, Fo Guang University

Dr Liu Chin-tsai is an Associate Professor of the Department of Public Affairs at Fo Guang University. His main research interests include contemporary Chinese politics, local election and governance, China studies, and globalisation and Cross-Strait relations.

A farmer fills pesticide in a drone before spraying a wheat field in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, China, on 28 February 2023. (AFP)

China's declining farmland and food self-sufficiency: Should we worry?

China’s food self-sufficiency ratio has plummeted to 76% in 2020, sparking worries of a food shortage. While the government reassures the people that food reserves are plentiful, China is highly dependent on imported food and its area of arable land is declining. China clearly needs to come up with innovative economic, social, environmental and agricultural policies if it hopes to become an “agricultural power” and avoid a food crisis.
A Taiwan flag is seen painted on Shihyu Islet in front of Xiamen, a coastal city in China, in Lieyu Township, Kinmen, Taiwan, 19 October 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Kinmen-Xiamen bridge: Taiwan's security and identity at stake?

The proposal to build a physical bridge between Taiwan's Kinmen and mainland China's Xiamen has aroused political debates in Taiwan. While the project could boost local economies and people’s livelihoods, some are concerned that constructing a cross-strait bridge is a pro-China move that would compromise Taiwan’s security imperatives and efforts to build a “Taiwan identity”. Taiwan academic Liu Chin-tsai looks at the implications and debate surrounding the proposed infrastructure.
Workers use planters to plant corn seeds on the fields in a village on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province, China, 14 April 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

It is debatable whether China has truly alleviated poverty

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in February 2021 China’s complete victory in its fight against poverty. While China’s poverty alleviation efforts spanned 40 years since its reform and opening up in 1978, its definition of its poverty standards has been ill-defined. Taiwan academic Liu Chin-tsai believes that there is more to be scrutinised before China becomes a global model for poverty alleviation.
Soldiers march to position during an anti-invasion drill on the beach during the annual Han Kuang military drill in Tainan, Taiwan, 14 September 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwanese generally think there will not be war, and they are unprepared for it

Surveys show that the Taiwanese think war is unlikely, and they are aware that they are generally not well prepared for it, believing that the US and Japan will come to Taiwan’s assistance if mainland China launches an offensive. But recent comments by the US and Japan seem to suggest that strategic ambiguity is very much in play.
In this file photo taken on 26 September 2020, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (centre) poses for photographs while visiting a turboprop engine factory at a military base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

How the 1992 Consensus could save cross-strait relations

Liu Chin-tsai notes that cross-strait relations are getting more volatile, with calls for armed reunification getting louder. He suggests that the crux of the matter lies in the DPP not acknowledging the 1992 Consensus, which is seen by mainland China as the "magic fulcrum" offering a structural framework and stability for cross-straits talks to take place. However, is it too late for the DPP to adjust its rhetoric and get cross-strait relations back on track?
People work in a rice field of Runguo Agriculture Development Company during a media tour organised by the local government in Zhenjiang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province on 13 October 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Pandemic, floods, locusts and shrinking farming population: Will China suffer a food crisis?

China feeds about 20% of the global population, but its overall self-sufficiency in food seems to be dropping. Even though it is self-sufficient in some staples such as wheat, rice and corn, it is less so in others. In fact, it is the largest importer of food in the world. Recent calls by President Xi Jinping to cut food wastage has people thinking that political reasons aside, China’s food supply is at risk. This risk could yet be amplified by changes in land policies, rural-urban migration and more.
Amid tough battling between China and Taiwan in containing the Covid-19 outbreak, China is not changing its stance towards Taiwan. This photo taken on 23 February 2020 shows Taiwan flags hung along a street in the Chinatown district in Yokohama. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Mainland China and Taiwan: Game of push and pull continues amid the Covid-19 epidemic

With “Island encirclement” drills over Taiwan airspace, verbal exchanges and other moves, China reiterates its firm stance against independence for Taiwan. The latter, meanwhile, continues to find wiggle room by growing its international space.