One China

This aerial photo taken on 30 May 2022 shows the local fishing village of Neian in Xiyu Township on the Penghu islands. In the sleepy fishing towns on the Penghu islands, many locals are sanguine despite the frequent - and noisy - reminders of the military threat by neighbouring China. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

China-US war of words: Is Taiwan Strait international waters?

China has recently begun a campaign to say that the Taiwan Strait cannot be considered “international waters” based on the UNCLOS. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong sees this as Beijing's way to assert its jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait and that it is ready to boost and expand its scope of military actions over the area.
Pins showing Taiwan are seen at a pro-independent book store in Taipei, Taiwan, 24 May 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why it’s right that US policy on Taiwan has not changed

US academic Wu Guo explains that the US and China have fundamentally different interpretations of the “one China” principle and of the US’s adherence to its “one China” policy. To the Americans, Taiwan’s status has always been unsettled, and it has always advocated a peaceful resolution in the interest of regional stability. President Biden’s recent comments simply strongly affirm that.
Cartoon: Heng Kim Song

ThinkCartoon

Heng Kim Song has been the freelance editorial cartoonist

Rescuers work next to a building damaged by air strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 14 March 2022. (Vitalii Hnidyi/Reuters)

Will the Ukraine crisis help to improve US-China relations?

Some analyses say that US-China relations may actually improve given the need for the US and the West to seek help from China in dealing with Russia. However, other indications are that recent events are engendering greater mistrust between the two countries, especially now that Congress has approved an omnibus bill that includes banning the use of maps that inaccurately depict Taiwan.
A Slavic people living in Taiwan holds a placard during a protest against Russia's military invasion of Ukraine at the Liberty Square outside the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, on 6 March 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Lessons from Ukraine: Is it time to give up strategic ambiguity in the Taiwan Strait?

The US’s long-running policy of strategic ambiguity towards the Taiwan Strait has created a delicate balance on the Taiwan issue, and the US believes that with ambiguity, Beijing will think twice about taking military action against Taiwan, as it can never be sure if the Americans will come to Taiwan's aid. However, with the Ukraine war, some Taiwanese and Americans are questioning the effectiveness of strategic ambiguity. Since Russia has attacked Ukraine without the latter joining NATO, wouldn't Beijing do the same to Taiwan even if the latter does not declare de jure independence? They ask: Isn't it time to review the strategic ambiguity policy?
Pedestrians pass a Chinese flag in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Stability and growth: Two Sessions' government work report spells out what China wants

China’s Two Sessions annual meetings commenced this week amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang outlined the key theme of “stability first” for China's economic growth and geopolitical outlook. Despite some calls for an armed reunification with Taiwan, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says that nothing can distract China from its priority for stability, as it progresses towards building a modern China by 2035 amid challenges in its internal and external affairs.
The Taiwanese Representative Office sign in Vilnius, Lithuania, 20 January 2022. (Janis Laizans/Reuters)

Lithuania's 'name battle': Can the US end it in a dignified manner?

The row continues between China and Lithuania over the naming convention “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania” as China continues to exert pressure via export blocks on Lithuania. The Lithuanian president has also chimed in, calling for the name of the office to be changed. However, this reeks of being a proxy war between the US and China over Taiwan. Han Yong Hong explains.
A soldier participates in a military exercise simulating an invasion by China, organised by Taiwan's Army Infantry Training Command, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on 6 January 2022. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

Why Xi Jinping ignores Washington's calls for cross-strait talks

Chen I-hsin asserts that the US is no longer in a position to facilitate cross-strait talks, given that China’s national strength has increased considerably and the US is no longer seen as a neutral arbiter. Moreover, the “two states” theory which Taiwan’s ruling party seems to support leaves little room for dialogue, rendering any pressure from the US futile.
Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda speaks to the press at the end of an Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, on 15 December 2021. (Olivier Hoslet/AFP)

Did Lithuania do a U-turn on the ‘Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania’?

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda recently commented that it was "a mistake" to allow Taipei to open a representative office using the name Taiwan. Is this a climb-down by Lithuania following economic and political backlash from Beijing or more a reflection of policy rifts within the small Baltic state? And will the EU and the US pay more than lip service to stiffen Lithuania’s resolve?