Taiwan and 21st Century Chinese Realpolitik

Written by Aidan Hall. The existence of China’s impressive military and economic strength is nothing new. It seems long ago that Beijing abandoned Deng Xiao Ping’s “hide your strength and bide your time” principle. To be sure, China is now more comfortable than ever being placed alongside the US and Russia as one of the world’s major powers. Awareness of China’s geopolitical significance is also nothing new (…) What is new, however, is China’s use of its military and economic muscle to improve its geopolitical position in profoundly aggressive ways.

The KMT’s Shifting Attitudes on Tsai’s Mask Diplomacy

Written by Najee Woods (葉正忠). While Taiwan’s current mask diplomacy has been perceived as successful, the question arises: why doesn’t the KMT want the central government aiding those nations in dire need for masks? The party flip-flopping sends a mixed message to the international community that Taiwanese are not willing to lend a helping hand to combat COVID-19, which hurts the interest of all Taiwanese people, not just the ruling party. While the PRC health diplomacy is faltering, the international community has now begun to seek out Taiwan, allowing the island nation to lead the world in combating COVID-19.

Tsai’s Second Term and the Taiwan Strait: Greater Clarity, Same Challenges

Written by J. Michael Cole. The first four years under the Tsai Ing-wen administration have brought greater clarity regarding Beijing’s attitude toward Taiwan and its democracy. Although in the months prior to her inauguration on May 20, 2016, it was still possible to imagine that the two sides could find a modus vivendi despite Beijing’s longstanding antipathy toward the Democratic Progressive Party, Beijing almost immediately adopted an unforgiving course of action which soon poisoned the relationship.

Tsai Ing-Wen’s Inaugural Address for the Second Term: “Unprecedented Challenges and Unparalleled Opportunities”

Written by Qi Dongtao. As usual, Tsai Ing-wen’s inaugural speech on May 20 maintained her low-key, down-to-earth style without much surprise. From Beijing’s perspective, since she did not explicitly accept the “one-China principle” in the speech, she failed Beijing’s so-called “exam” again and therefore was severely criticised by Beijing. But since Beijing had already concluded that she would never openly accept the “one-China principle,” her speech did not surprise Beijing.

Prospects for President Tsai Ing-wen’s Second term

Written by Gerrit van der Wees. Her overwhelming victory in the elections already gave President Tsai Ing-wen a solid mandate to push domestic reforms with greater vigor, while the country’s excellent performance in combating the Coronavirus crisis gave Taiwan an unmatched international visibility, which will help in pushing back against China’s mounting political and economic aggressiveness.

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