As Chen Yunlin Falls From Grace, Beijing Shows It Still Doesn’t Get Taiwan

Written by J. Michael Cole. According to reports in Taiwanese media on 4 September, China’s former point man on Taiwan affairs, Chen Yunlin, may have become the latest target of President Xi Jinping’s “anti-corruption” campaign. In an odd twist, Chen also appears to be blamed for stalled progress in cross-strait relations and Beijing’s efforts to …

China’s M503: Salami slicing the status quo

Written by Michal Thim. China officially launched the new M503 commercial flight route on March 29 — right in the centre of the Taiwan Strait. Initial reactions in Taipei were of surprise and rejection, which suggests that relevant government agencies in Taiwan were left in the dark before Beijing made the announcement. Taiwan objected on the …

Comprehensive Chinese military buildup

Written by Richard Weitz. The recent Pentagon reports on Chinese military power do not confirm any radical changes or breakthroughs in Chinese military capabilities during the past few years but do suggest a comprehensive Chinese military buildup that should propel China to great power status in a few decades regardless of its leaders’ intentions The …

PLA Operations against Precision Asymmetric Warfare

Written by Jeffrey Lin. China’s military modernization has been characterized by Western observers as being centered on “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD), which is intended to deny access to sea and air expeditionary forces in the waters near China. But other Asian countries are building their own asymmetric warfare strategies to counter China’s regional power projection capabilities. …

Has China Demolished the Taiwan Consensus?

Written by Gunter Schubert. In a recent contribution to the National Interest, Michael Cole, a journalist in Taiwan and editor of Thinking Taiwan, claimed that China had demolished the Taiwan consensus. He referred to the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ which holds that Beijing and Taipei maintain that Taiwan is a part of China but acknowledge at …

Change and continuity in policy in Taiwan

Written by Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley. The November 2014 9-in-1 elections have had a significant impact on Taiwan’s political landscape: the ruling KMT previously controlled 14 out of 22 municipalities and counties, but secured only 6 in this election. Observers have identified several reasons for the KMT’s failure: an unequal distribution of wealth, sluggish government reform, and …

Cross-Strait interdependence: Who needs whom?

Written by Michael Reilly. Alastair Campbell famously once said that Tony Blair’s government didn’t “do God”. In similar vein, Chinese foreign policy makers don’t “do subtlety”. I remember being physically threatened by a senior Chinese diplomat at an international conference; although I think he was half-joking. So in the aftermath of Taiwan’s Autumn 2014 local …

Were Taiwan’s nine-in-one elections a referendum on Ma’s China policy?

Written by J. Michael Cole. The dust from the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) routing in the Nov. 29 local elections had yet to settle when analysts within the green camp started arguing that the results constituted a referendum on President M

Voters assert themselves as Taiwanese in a warning to KMT

Written by Bruce Jacobs. Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has won an unprecedented landslide victory in the country’s local elections. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) won only one of Taiwan’s six largest “special municipalities” in voting on Saturday and this by a very narrow margin. Elsewhere, the DPP won unexpected victories in many counties and …

Rethinking the cross Strait economic relationship

Written by Chun-Yi Lee. Taiwanese investments in China started in 1987. Since that time, academic research on Taiwanese investment across the Strait has been dominated by perspectives from political economy. Nowadays, aside from the traditional scholarly concerns about trade and investment across the Strait and in Greater China, academics have begun to pay attention to the …