Tsai’s Cross-Straits Conundrum

Gunjan Singh, Research Associate, Institute of Chinese Studies

The rise of China to an economic and military power has had the most significant effect on its relationship with Taiwan. China has always been assertive about the use of One-China Principle in its dealings with Taiwan. However, the change of the political system in Taiwan from an authoritarian to a democratic system has further complicated this relationship. China was comfortable dealing with Taiwan until it was dominated by the single Kuomintang Party but the recent development of a vibrant multi-party democracy in Taiwan appears confusing to China. To face such a problematic issue when it comes to dealing with its own ‘getaway province’ is rather ironical. The oscillation between reunification, supporting Kuomintang, and a pro-independence Democratic People’s Party (DPP) government in Taipei has led to a very muddled policy in Beijing towards Taiwan.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping there have been very strong assertions towards ‘not giving up’ even an inch of its territory (indicating towards Taiwan, which is currently under the DPP rule). The 19thParty Congress report provided some insights into the upcoming Chinese policies towards Taiwan under Xi Jinping. Continue reading “Tsai’s Cross-Straits Conundrum”

Parsing Tsai Ing-wen’s Inaugural Presidential Speech

Jabin T. Jacob, Assistant Director and Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Chien-jen were sworn in on 20 May as the 14th President and Vice-President of the Republic of China on Taiwan, marking the third successful peaceful transition of power on the island through democratic elections. Tsai, the first female president of the island, is expected to take a more moderate position on Taiwan’s relations with China, even if her Democratic Progress Party is not likely to give up its pro-independence stance. It is this latter reality that is likely to keep the Chinese on tenterhooks about Taiwan’s direction under Tsai.

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When the British Tried Selling Harrier to China in 1970s

Atul Bhardwaj, Adjunct Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Last week, the Indian Navy bid adieu to the British-built Sea Harrier. The lone Subsonic-Sea Harrier flew among the newly inducted supersonic fighters, MiG 29k to mark the ceremony at Goa. The 1970s vintage machine was de-inducted from the Royal Navy in the year 2006 after serving for good twenty-six years. The Indian Navy had refurbished the aircraft, in 2009, to add another few years to its life. For almost three decades the Harriers were a pride of the Indian Navy flying from aircraft carriers.

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