One China

Armed vehicles and Taiwan military soldiers attend the annual Han Kuang anti-landing drill at Bali beach, New Taipei City, Taiwan, on 27 July 2023. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Declaration of ‘Taiwan independence’ could start a war in the Taiwan Strait

During a recent geopolitics conference in Taipei, experts weighed in on the Taiwan Strait situation, assessing that political factors are more likely than military factors to trigger a war. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han tells us more about what the experts said.
This picture taken on 14 April 2023 shows people walking down a street at the Ximen district in Taipei. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

What does 'Taiwan independence' mean?

Japanese academic Yoshiyuki Ogasawara notes that while there has been much talk of "Taiwan independence", it seems that there is actually little understanding of what the term really means, and what making any changes to Taiwan’s status would entail.
This file combination of pictures created on 8 June 2021 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) during a welcome ceremony for Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev in Beijing on 3 July 2019, and US President Joe Biden speaking at the White House in Washington, DC, on 17 May 2021. (Nicolas Asfouri and Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

An uptick in US-China relations? Not so fast

After US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited China, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen followed suit, while US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry is also expected to visit Beijing in the coming weeks. Despite the flurry of activity, says US academic Zhu Zhiqun, intractable issues remain in US-China relations.
Near the end of the Qing dynasty, Sun Yat-sen and three of his friends were collectively known to the Manchu government as the Four Bandits (四大寇). The picture shows the four friends (from left) Yang Heling, Sun Yat-sen, Chen Shaobai, and You Lie, with Guan Jingliang standing behind. This photo was taken at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (香港华人西医书院), established in 1887, now the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

[Photo story] Taiwan and the ROC: Same, yet different

Taiwan’s current situation is the result of historical factors and developments, including Sun Yat-sen’s revolution and the ensuing rivalry between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao re-examines that era with his collection of old pictures.
Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou arrives at Taoyuan International Airport after concluding his 12-day trip to China in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 7 April 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Ma Ying-jeou offered an alternative vision for Taiwan's future

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to China showed the potential of a peaceful, non-confrontational path to better cross-strait relations. Amid a changed political culture in Taiwan, however, his approach may not enjoy widespread support at the moment. The Taiwanese public will have to decide which vision of the future serves their best interest.
Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou speaks to the media at Taoyuan international airport after concluding his 12-day trip to China in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 7 April 2023. (I-Hwa Cheng/Reuters)

CCP achieved its objectives with Ma Ying-jeou's visit

Taiwanese research fellow Tsai Wen-Hsuan sees the recent visit to China by former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and the courtesies extended to him as a calculated move by Beijing. In the CCP's estimation, Ma’s positions are helpful to China’s narrative of peaceful reunification, and the visit may also quieten some discontent about the party's cross-strait policy.
This handout picture taken and released from former President Ma Ying-jeou office on 30 March 2023 shows former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou speaks at the Wuhan University in Hunan province, China. (Handout/Ma Ying-jeou office/AFP)

How Ma Ying-jeou tested Beijing’s flexibility towards Taiwan

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that the visit of former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou to mainland China might be seeing positive results, as the mainland Chinese government seems to be favourably impressed. How will the visit influence cross-strait relations?
This handout picture taken and released by the office of former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on 28 March 2023 shows former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (centre) holding a written calligraphy reading "Peaceful struggle and revitalisation of Zhonghua" during his visit to Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum in Nanjing, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. (Handout/Ma Ying-jeou's office/AFP)

All the subtleties: Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's words and actions in China

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to mainland China began with a visit to Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, where Ma paid tribute to Sun in a wreath-laying ceremony and a speech, in which he mentioned Minguo (the short form of the Republic of China) four times, and called for peace efforts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen arrives for her departure to New York to start her trip to Guatemala and Belize at Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 29 March 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The US is just as wary of Taiwan as of China

Academic Deng Qingbo says that US elites are not only in fear of China's rise, but they are also deeply concerned about Taiwan's immense potential in technological advancement, geographical position, and cultural depth and resilience. The two combined will be a nightmare for the US.