Taiwan Strait Update: Crisis Deferred
ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI
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The Chen Shui-bian governments moves toward dismantling Taiwans largely symbolic political inks with China have been the main cause of increased cross- Strait tensions. The momentum of these moves has diminished in recent months. A strong and generally anti-independence opposition in Taiwan and the willingness of these politicians to coordinate some activities with Beijing, highlighted by the visits of two prominent opposition leaders to China in April and May, helps give the Chinese confidence that a use of force against Taiwan will not be necessary. Absent an effort by Taipei to push for independence, Beijing senses that the chances of a resolution of the Taiwan question in terms favorable to China increase with time because of the relative growth of Chinas economic, political and military strength. Based on visible trends, the chances of a military conflict over Taiwan in the near future now seem low. Taiwan nevertheless remains a difficult and ongoing challenge in U.S.-China relations, prone to either sparking a downturn in bilateral relations or becoming more dangerous as a reflection of an overall deterioration in Sino-U.S. relations.
- Government and Political Science