National Commentaries

In 2019 China intensified its offensive against Taiwan. At the same time as it strove to penetrate the Taiwanese society with policies of favoritism based on “31 measures” of better opportunities for businesses and individuals in the PRC. It also stepped up its political and military pressure through Xi Jinping’s New Year’s speech to Taiwan compatriots and PLA fighter jets crossing the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait. Meanwhile, the United States, despite maintaining a “one-China policy,” increased its commitment to Taiwan through a series of laws, beginning with a Taiwan travel act. Moreover, the importance of Taiwan was rising as its geopolitical significance grew in regard to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy advocated by Japan and the United States and the clashing military viewpoints of China’s first-island chain and US naval re-assertiveness. Even in non-traditional security issues the importance was mounting, such as the difficulty of excluding Taiwan from the WHO regional governance. Step-by-step, Taiwan was becoming a focus of Sino-US relations, as Japan was closely observing the new situation facing Taiwan in the context of the Sino-US confrontation.

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