Taiwan: The Linchpin of US-China Relations
- Florence Principe Gamboa
Photo Source: Time/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Cross-Strait Relations or China-Taiwan relations is one of the most complex and controversial issues in today’s international relations. The two entities, while having a shared heritage and language, have very different aspirations for their futures. For China, Taiwan is considered a wayward province that it needs to reunite with, by force if necessary. Taiwan, on the other hand, increasingly considers itself as a sovereign state capable of making sovereign decisions and participating in international affairs.
Taiwan’s relations with the mainland can often be predicted by the leadership or regime in power. Support for the idea of independence and its proponent -- the incumbent Democratic Progressive party -- has been increasing. On the other hand, the Kuomintang Party, which favors reunification, has been losing the support of the Taiwanese people as evident in the electoral successes of DPP’s Chen Sui-bian (2000-2008) and Tsai Ing-wen more recently.