A Farewell to Arms?

Evolving peace in the Taiwan Strait

Authored by: Tony Tai-Ting Liu

The Routledge History of World Peace Since 1750

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138069138
eBook ISBN: 9781315157344
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the separation of China and Taiwan in 1949, the Taiwan Strait has become a geopolitical hotspot characterized by complicated historical, political, economic, and ethnic tensions. Following the election of Tsai Ing-wen as President of the Republic of China (Taiwan or ROC) in 2016 and the new government’s staunch position on searching for a new model for interacting with China, Beijing grew increasingly impatient on the issue of Taiwan and pushed the Taiwan Strait towards instability again. However, noting current tensions in Cross-strait relations as an extension of the unresolved civil war between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the ROC, the love–hate relationship between China and Taiwan is ironic and somewhat baffling as not a single life has been lost in this ongoing conflict since the second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958. Despite the uniqueness of the “long peace” in the Taiwan Strait, especially considering the imbalanced power relationship between China and Taiwan in the post-Cold War period, observers have devoted little effort in explaining why Cross-strait relations remain in a chronic state of peace or the absence of direct military conflict.

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