Cross-strait relations

A protester calling for Taiwan independence waves a flag in front of Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei, Taiwan, on 20 May 2020. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan would once again be abandoned amid China-US competition

Han Dongping says looking back in history, one should not underestimate the tenacity of the CCP in achieving its aims. At the same time, no matter how determined each actor is, whether it is the CCP, Taiwan or the US, outcomes may not go as intended, and Taiwan may unwittingly be steered towards an end that no one wishes to see.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen delivers her inaugural address at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei, Taiwan on 20 May 2020. (Wang Yu Ching/Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters)

Taiwan's Tsai surprised the world with her achievements, but can her good fortune last another term?

Qi Dongtao reads into signs of change in President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term inauguration speech, sussing out that compared to four years ago, the president is placing greater emphasis on the idea of Taiwan as a national entity on its own. Such fateful steps augur potential clashes in the next four years as Taiwan runs the risk of being an unwitting pawn in US-China competition.
This handout picture taken and released on 20 May 2020 by the Taiwan Presidential office shows Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (centre) and Vice President William Lai waving during an inauguration event for their respective terms in office, at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei. (Handout/Taiwan Presidential Office/AFP)

Chinese academic: Tsai's true intention was to redraw boundaries in cross-strait relations

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration speech yesterday delved into various areas concerning the future direction of Taiwan, but the most important aspect was the strong tone she set regarding the handling of cross-straits relations. Chuang Hui Liang and Edwin Ong analyse the nuances of her speech and gather reactions from Taiwan and mainland China.
Military delegates leave the Great Hall of the People after a meeting ahead of National People's Congress (NPC), China's annual session of parliament, in Beijing, 4 March 2019. (Aly Song/REUTERS)

China's military spending amid the pandemic: Will it go up or down this year?

China's economy has taken a hit from the pandemic, but in the face of external challenges from the US and concerns over cross-straits relations, military spending is expected to be one major topic at China’s upcoming "two sessions". Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan examines the evidence as to whether it will go up or down.
People's Liberation Army soldiers march to their barracks opposite the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 24 February 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Chinese military starts 79-day exercises amid pandemic to deter Taiwan and warn the US

Chinese PLA forces will be undertaking rigorous training at Bohai Bay near Tianjin for two and a half months. It is probably not a coincidence that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration day — 20 May — is well within that period and the military’s activities will serve as a constant reminder that any overstepping of the boundaries can be met with sharp reprisals.
In this file photo taken on 24 September 2019, visitors hold their mobile phones in front of exhibits showing the People's Liberation Army Navy's first aircraft carrier Liaoning, during an exhibition on China's achievements marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the Beijing Exhibition Center, in Beijing, China. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

With American aircraft carriers paralysed, China's Liaoning leads drills around Taiwan

Contrary to popular belief that military forces might keep a low profile during the global health pandemic, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan assesses that the PLA will continue training in the waters and airspace around Taiwan to prevent the latter from making any rash moves. Military commentator Song Zhongping says China has the upper hand in this area.
An adult helps to put a face mask on a child in Taipei, March 31, 2020. (Ann Wang/REUTERS)

Stay well, my beautiful Taipei

The Taiwanese are looking increasingly lost and powerless as they face rising China-US competition and now, the pandemic. Zaobao correspondent Ng Soon Kiat reflects on the years he has spent in Taipei, and wishes the best for the beautiful island he has called home for more than three years.
Soldiers from the military’s chemical units take part in a drill organised by the New Taipei City government to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Xindian district on March 14, 2020. Over 450 medical staff, community volunteers, government employees and military personnel took part in the drill. Taiwan has won praise for its handling of the epidemic. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan's ‘epidemic diplomacy' may invite reprisals from Beijing

Turning a corner in recent days in the fight against Covid-19, China may now take stock of those who have been nasty or nice during the crisis. Taiwan may have won international praise and recognition for its efforts against the Covid-19 epidemic, but incurred Beijing’s ire in the process. Zaobao correspondent Ng Soon Kiat finds out more about how mainland China might respond, and how things might turn difficult for Tsai Ing-wen’s second term in government.
Johnny Chiang, newly elected chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), speaks after winning the KMT’s chairman elections in Taipei, 7 March 2020. (Handout/CNA/AFP)

Fresh, young, pragmatic chairman of Kuomintang signals new hope for Taiwan?

All eyes are on Johnny Chiang, the 48-year-old who was elected the new chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang. Chiang won all the elections he stood for in 2012, 2016, and 2020, and was the KMT Legislative Yuan member with the most votes in the 2020 general election. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun says Chiang is, without a doubt, the most suitable candidate to be KMT chairman right now. But what are the challenges faced by the ailing party under new leadership, and the implications these may have on cross-strait relations?