Cross-strait relations

Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, attends a commissioning ceremony for a new Ta Chiang guided-missile corvette in Suao, Yilan County, Taiwan, on 9 September 2021. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

Serious consequences if Washington allows renaming of Taiwan’s US office

The US is reportedly considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in Washington from “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” to “Taiwan Representative Office”. What are the implications, and is it likely to happen? Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun examines the situation.
A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III carrying US Senators Tammy Duckworth, Dan Sullivan and Chris Coons arrives at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, 6 June 2021. (Central News Agency/Pool via Reuters)

More mainland Chinese elites supporting armed unification with Taiwan: A cause for concern?

Findings of a 2019 survey covering nine major Chinese cities show that mainland Chinese supporting armed unification with Taiwan tend to be male, highly educated urbanites who are often Communist Party members. While this group makes up just about 50% of the respondents and includes those who see armed unification as a last resort as well as those who think it should be an immediate recourse, Qi Dongtao cautions that the rise of radical nationalism should not be ignored.
US President Joe Biden gestures towards members of the media as he arrives at the White House following a stay in Delaware, in Washington, US, 10 August 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The flaws in Biden’s China policy

The Biden administration does not seem to have changed course from the US’s former hardline approach towards China. In fact, it is resolute in adopting a competitive stance. Even so, its tactics may not be enough to keep China from moving ahead.
A screen grab from the video by CCTV, showing the launch of the new missile. (Screen grab/CCTV)

Did PLA fire new missiles over Biden's statement on Taiwan?

The People’s Liberation Army launched two new missiles over the weekend while conducting joint live-fire assault drills in multiple locations near Taiwan. Analysts say that these may be flashes of their trump card to ward off the US and other opponents against conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan has the details.
Taiwanese soldiers fire an 8 inch (203 mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer during the live fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan, 30 May 2019. (Tyrone Siu/File Photo/Reuters)

30,000 US troops in Taiwan?

US senator John Cornyn tweeted that 30,000 US troops are currently stationed in Taiwan, before deleting it after it caused an uproar in China. Following the US troop pullout of Afghanistan, China has played up the idea of "Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow", saying that the US would abandon Taiwan in a crisis. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong takes a look at how the US and China are playing their cards in the Taiwan Strait.
Afghan nationals return back to Afghanistan from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on 17 August 2021. (AFP)

'Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow’?

With the US pullout in Afghanistan leading to chaos, many are questioning if the US has lost credibility around the world. Events in Afghanistan have also sparked discussions in Taiwan about US reliability if fighting breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, so much so that Taiwan premier Su Tseng-chang has spoken out to calm the people's nerves. Lianhe Zaobao speaks with various Taiwanese academics to get a sense of the situation.
The Japan-US-Taiwan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue, 29 July 2021. (Twitter/Furuya Keiji@Furuya_keiji)

Japanese researcher: Japan-US-Taiwan lawmaker exchanges unavoidable now that China is a world power

The Japan-US-Taiwan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue was held recently, much to the chagrin of China. It was also the first time that all three parties had met directly to hold a lawmaker exchange. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima says China should accept that such discussions about China would become more frequent as its influence continues to rise. China should also make clear what it considers problematic with such meetings.
This file photo taken on 15 March 2012 shows US Army M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers of the Second Infantry Division of the US Forces Korea attending a live firing drill at the US army's Rodriguez range in Pocheon, south of the demilitarised zone that divides the two Koreas. (Kim Hong-Ji /Pool/ AFP)

Will the US’s ‘integrated deterrence’ keep China in check?

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has recently stressed the importance of “integrated deterrence”, ostensibly against China. This involves all-around coordination with allies and preparation across fields such that the opponent will think twice or thrice before making rash moves. Xiang Lanxin assesses, however, that the conditions for integrated deterrence to work are lacking and there is a high chance that various parties will misjudge the Taiwan Strait issue.
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks the street following a surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Taipei, Taiwan, 18 May 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan's unequal status in US-Taiwan trade talks

Chinese academic Long Yan notes that even though the US seems open to developing its economic ties with Taiwan, the latter is not a significant trading partner of the US and trade talks between them have always been used as political mileage. Long suggests that Taiwan should reconsider its currently confrontational political stance towards China, and build on close cross-strait trade relations.