Cross-strait relations

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?
A man (L) holds a Taiwan flag as passengers disembark from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan: When can they return?

Intransigence from the governments in Beijing and Taipei has kept a number of Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. While views in Taiwan are split, academics have launched a petition calling for politics to take a backseat in the face of a humanitarian crisis.
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.
Examples of "I am from Taiwan" stickers sold on PChome eBay Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese online shopping platform. (PChome eBay Co. Ltd/Internet)

Rising sense of Taiwanese identity amid Covid-19 epidemic

Ng Soon Kiat finds that the “I am from Taiwan” stickers that have popped up recently are not only a utilitarian guard against sinophobia, but possibly a political badge asserting Taiwan’s separate identity.
This handout photo taken and released on 10 February 2020 by Taiwan's Defense Ministry shows a Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet flying next to a Chinese H-6 bomber (top) in Taiwan's airspace. (Handout/Taiwan's Defense Ministry/AFP)

Why is Beijing flexing its military muscle over Taiwan airspace amidst the novel coronavirus crisis?

Taiwan is not the only intended audience for mainland China’s most recent spate of fly-bys over Taiwan airspace. In extraordinary coronavirus times when the government’s authority is being questioned, Beijing flexes its military muscle.
Are cross-strait relations proving to be too huge a gap to bridge? (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The Taiwan Strait: Hit the brakes now before it is too late

Not even the shared threat of Wuhan coronavirus can bring Taiwan and mainland China closer together. Zhu Zhiqun says recent developments do not bode well for cross-strait relations in the years ahead.
Supporters of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, January 2020. Young people played a big role in Tsai's win, and will continue to exert an influence in the future. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

He who wins over the young people wins the world

Just about a week after the Taiwan presidential election, the rhetoric from both sides of the Taiwan Strait is aggressive. Will China take military action to take back Taiwan, or go with a safer approach? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines the reasons for Tsai Ing-wen’s big win and concludes that young people will play a major role in the future.
Taiwan Vice President-elect William Lai and incumbent Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen celebrate at a rally after their election victory, outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei on 11 January 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Taiwan election: Understanding the outcry from Chinese state media and netizens

While Beijing has been relatively restrained in commenting on the Taiwan election, Chinese state media has been criticising the US for backing the Democratic Progressive Party in opposing the mainland. Zaobao journalist Edwin Ong speaks to Sun Zhe, co-director of the China Initiative at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, who opines that Chinese state media was raising reasonable doubt on behalf of the state.