KINMEN COUNTY, TAIWAN (NYTIMES) - The islands of Kinmen County, and the Nationalist troops stationed there, withstood artillery shelling from China long after the Communist victory in the Chinese civil war. Today, relations between China and Kinmen, just miles apart, are very different indeed. Kinmen, about twice the size of Manhattan, has been governed from Taiwan since the defeated Nationalists fled China for the islands in 1949. But Taiwan's main island is 140 miles (225km) away, while China looms visibly in the near distance. That distance is narrowing - both literally and figuratively. A new airport for the Chinese city of Xiamen is being built just north of Kinmen, on an island 3 miles away, and land reclamation for that project will bring Chinese territory almost a mile closer. A proposed bridge to the Xiamen airport from Kinmen would essentially eliminate the remaining gap. Last month, China began supplying Kinmen with drinking water through a new 10-mile pipeline. And Kinmen … [Read more...] about Once a Cold War flashpoint, a part of Taiwan embraces China’s pull
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BEIJING: China and El Salvador established diplomatic relations Tuesday (Aug 21) as the Central American nation ditched Taiwan in yet another victory for Beijing in its campaign to isolate the island.Beijing has been using its economic clout to peel away international support for the democratically-ruled island, leaving it with only 17 diplomatic allies around the world.Taiwan vowed on Tuesday to fight China's "increasingly out of control" behaviour, as El Salvador became the third country to switch allegiances to China this year. Speaking in Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not bow to pressure, describing the El Salvador move as further evidence of China's efforts to squeeze the island, which have included regular Chinese bomber patrols around Taiwan."We will turn to countries with similar values to fight together against China's increasingly out-of-control international behaviour," Tsai said.Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised El Salvador's decision to … [Read more...] about Taiwan says China ‘out of control’ as it loses El Salvador to Beijing
The China-Taiwan story has long been defined by China’s sovereign claims on the island. This “renegade province” story is a legacy of the Chinese civil war of 1927 to 1950 fought by the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC), and which drove the KMT to Taiwan. But today the war is about far more than the CPC’s continued sovereign claims on the island. In fact, the sovereignty issue may have far less to do with China’s Taiwan bellicosity than most of us realize. When journalists write about Taiwan, they generally evoke its vibrant and hard-earned democracy, which is obviously a subject that Beijing’s autocrats would prefer was never discussed. But the byproducts of Taiwan’s democratic evolution are also anathema to Beijing because they make a mockery of the CPC’s much-touted claims of having evolved a magical rule-all model for governance based on – of all things – Marxism. As China’s president … [Read more...] about Taiwan and China: A battle for sovereignty or diversity?
WASHINGTON: Two senior US Republican senators asked the Trump administration on Monday (Mar 26) to allow the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jets to Taiwan, saying it would help it "remain a democracy" in the face of threats from China.China's hostility towards self-ruled Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016. China claims Taiwan as its own and is one of its most sensitive issues."These fighters will have a positive impact on Taiwan's self-defense and would act as a necessary deterrent to China's aggressive military posture across the Asia-Pacific region," Senators John Cornyn, the assistant majority leader, and James Inhofe, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a letter to President Donald Trump."After years of military modernization, China shows the ability to wage war against Taiwan for the first time since the 1950s," they wrote. "However, with … [Read more...] about US Republicans press for F-35 fighter jet sales to Taiwan amid China threat
VATICAN CITY/TAIPEI: Five blocks from the Vatican, on the bustling, tourist-packed street leading to St. Peter's Basilica, a Taiwanese flag flutters from the window of a third story suite of offices that house Taipei's embassy to the Holy See.These days, the staff inside are anxious. They know that one night they may have to lower that flag - red and blue with a white sun - for the last time.As the Vatican and China move closer to a historic deal on the appointment of bishops, which would signal a warming of once-frigid relations, diplomats and scholars say Taiwan could lose the most from the deal..Under the deal, the Vatican will have a say in negotiations for the appointment of future bishops in China, whose Catholics are divided between an "underground" Church loyal to the pope and a government-backed Church.Even a partial resolution of the issue could open the way for eventual diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Vatican. That would give the Church a legal framework to look … [Read more...] about As Vatican and China talk, Taiwan looks on nervously