fredag 29. januar 2021

Why might Taiwan be the next global flashpoint?

An island 200 kilometres off the coast of China looms as the biggest international test of the Biden administration and Beijing’s relationship with the world. Characterised by its liberal democracy, resilient economy and the existential threat of invasion, Taiwan has lived under a cloud for more than half a century.

Its existence has seen Taiwanese and Chinese diplomats come to blows over a cake decorated with a Taiwan flag in Fiji, a Perth theatre forced to apologise to Chinese officials over a diplomatically sensitive performance and Qantas remove Taiwan from its list of country destinations, describing the island as part of China. Long a diplomatic flashpoint, it now threatens to become a military one.

Seven months after Hong Kong was subdued by the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing has turned its attention to the final territory not in its control under the “One China policy”, sending dozens of warplanes over the Taiwan Strait to mark the start of 2021.