What international relations theorists often miss is the point that China is wielding its sword to Taiwan as a proxy threat to the United States
The National Interest
Date: October 27, 2020
By: Charles K.S. Wu Yao-Yuan Yeh Fang-Yu Chen Austin Horng-En Wang
The relations between Taiwan and China have not been cordial since President Tsai Ing-wen came into office in 2016. However, the lack of détente has recently given in to overt military actions. Chinese fighter jets, emboldened, are now crossing the so-called “median line” of the Taiwan Strait—violating the implicit agreement between major powers not to cross that line over the past several decades. These surprised “visits” by China triggered a series of hasty reactions as Taiwan’s air force scrambled jets to evict potential threats.
Much ink has been spoiled on how China’s irresponsible actions could pull both sides or even the United States into an unwanted military conflict. It also sparks a series of debates about whether the United States should ditch its long-standing policy of strategic ambiguity toward Taiwan for a more explicit security guarantee.
Aside from these policy discussions, what is puzzling to scholars of international relations theory is why China is now employing overt military actions against Taiwan. Taiwan and China have successfully maintained the current status quo since the most recent missile crisis in 1995-96 (also known as the Third Taiwan Strait crisis), during which the United States dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to dissuade a Chinese invasion. Since then, relations have their ups and downs, but China has not been so forthright in offending Taiwan’s airspace and sending signals of war. [FULL STORY]