(This issue was originally published on the Global Taiwan Institute's website and the full articles are available at: https://globaltaiwan.org/2022/08/vol-7-issue-17/)
An Overview of Chinese Military Activity Near Taiwan in Early August 2022, Part 1: Exercise Closure Areas and Ballistic Missile Launches
By: John Dotson
Following immediately on the heels of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan on August 2 for a high-profile visit with senior Taiwan officials, the military forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) conducted a series of provocative military exercises and operations intended to signal Beijing’s displeasure, as well as deter both US and Taiwan officials from taking further steps to deepen US-Taiwan ties. Although the military activities tapered off rather than ceasing abruptly—and in some fundamental respects, these increased military activities are still ongoing—the most intensive phase of activity lasted for roughly one week, from August 3-10. Many of these activities by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were unprecedented in nature, and significantly raised tensions in both the Taiwan Strait and the broader Indo-Pacific region.
Observing Taiwan’s Social Mood During China’s Military Drills
By: Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao
In comparison to the previous Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995-1996, the recent military pressures from China between August 4-10 did not result in serious drops in stock value or evident emigration waves from Taiwan. On the contrary, the public in Taiwan appeared to be very calm and disciplined, and very little public panic was shown in most social circles. Similarly, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民進黨) administration was not criticized for its welcoming of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and no attribution was openly made to Pelosi’s visit for the occurrence of the military crisis.
China Initiates a New Integration Model with Taiwan, Starting with Gray Zone Tactics towards Kinmen
By: Cheng-fung Lu
Many Taiwanese people believe that Xi Jinping’s “new paths for cross-Strait integration and development” (探索海峽兩岸融合發展新路) is an attempt at exploring a new approach to cross-Strait relations. But it is a different story for the residents of Kinmen (金門), an island situated roughly six kilometers opposite the city of Xiamen on China’s southeastern coast. In spite of the growing support for Taiwan from international allies such as the United States and Japan, Taiwan and its allies must also bear in mind and keep a close watch on China’s new gray zone tactics, including the “New Four Links” (新四通) (see further below). Increasingly, Beijing is undertaking a salami-slicing effort aimed at winning the hearts of Taiwanese people, starting with Kinmen.
Opportunities for Increased Taiwanese Foreign Direct Investment in the European Union
By: Marshall Reid
In December 2020, the European Commission announced that the European Union (EU) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had agreed in principle on the long-awaited Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). Described as “the most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third country,” the CAI had been a key objective for both parties since its inception in 2013. In the year and a half that has followed, however, this dynamic has changed significantly. Following a series of increasingly visible diplomatic incidents, the PRC has seen its standing amongst EU states rapidly deteriorate, to the point that discussions of the CAI were indefinitely suspended in May 2021. While this remarkable shift should certainly raise concerns in Beijing, it could prove to be a windfall for Taiwan. Indeed, with its high-tech economy, thriving private enterprises, and unique political status, the island democracy could emerge as the greatest beneficiary of the EU-China estrangement, particularly in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI).
New Public Opinion Polling on US Support for Defending Taiwan
By: Timothy S. Rich, Katrina Fjeld, Aurora Speltz, and Kerby Gilstrap
The United States supports maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo. Yet, China’s military modernization threatens the continuation of this tenuous balance, making American military sales to Taiwan—totaling over USD $15 billion in armaments since 2010—crucial to the country’s defense. However, continued arms sales and support for Taiwan have heightened tensions with China, and “harms peace and stability” according to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO, 國務院台灣事務辦公室). This is despite the fact that China has “made no promise to renounce the use of force” in its quest for unification. Selling Taiwan military equipment, while helpful, may not be enough to deter China, as Taiwan realistically cannot afford to the buy the quantity of “traditional” weaponry necessary. Failure to respond may risk American interests in the region and boost Chinese efforts at regional hegemony.
* The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Global Taiwan Institute.
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