China Has Chance to Undercut US by Wooing Taiwan

In the interest of peace, virtually all countries maintain official relations with China and unofficial relations with Taiwan. In December, the US president-elect disrupted this broad international understanding by questioning need for the One China policy and treating it as a bargaining chip. Two months later, President Donald Trump backed down and reconfirmed the policy during a telephone call with China’s President Xi Jinping. The US lurching back and forth on policy won’t be quickly forgotten by either China or Taiwan, explains journalist and author Humphrey Hawksley. For two decades, Taiwan has been a vibrant democracy, and the Taiwanese people are divided over independence and forging stronger ties with China. Hawksley offers the example of interconnected economies of Taiwan’s Kinmen and China’s Xiamen, separated by a stretch of water only a few kilometers wide. Economies and attitudes have advanced since 1949 when China split, Hawksley notes, yet the political stance has barely shifted. China and Taiwan could ensure stability and pre-empt further US disruptions by reaching an agreement that allows recognition for Taiwan and more connections. – YaleGlobal