As US-China relations sour, Taiwan’s value as a ‘chess piece’ may rise

CNBC
Date: Jun 11 2019
By: Shirley Tay@SHIRTAY

KEY POINTS

  • The self-governed island — which Beijing deems to be a renegade Chinese province — is one of many flashpoints in the rivalry between the world’s two superpowers.
  • Taiwan has always been a “chess piece” that Washington can play with in U.S.-China relations, said Zhiqun Zhu, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University.
  • Bonnie Glaser, senior advisor for Asia at Washington-based think tank CSIS, told CNBC that the U.S. dealing Taiwan as a “card” is a new factor in the overall dynamic of the trilateral relationship that “really did not exist” before U.S. President Donald Trump came into power.

Chris Stowers | AFP | Getty Images

As the United States and China remain deadlocked in a deepening dispute over trade and technology, some experts say Taiwan’s value as a bargaining chip has increased.

The self-governed island — which Beijing deems to be a renegade Chinese province — is one of many flashpoints in the rivalry between the world’s two superpowers.

Taiwan has always been a “chess piece” that Washington can play with in U.S.-China relations, said Zhiqun Zhu, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University.

“Taiwan’s value to the U.S. will only increase as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate,” Zhu told CNBC.

Under the Chinese Communist Party’s “One China” policy, the self-ruled island is part of mainland China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said before that China “must be and will be” reunified with Taiwan — by force if necessary.

However, recent military and diplomatic actions from Washington have been seen by Beijing as U.S. support for Taiwan’s independence movement.    [FULL  STORY]

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