RELEASE: Beijing Should Avoid Provocations Against Taiwan, CAP Issue Brief Says

Washington, D.C. — Following Taiwan’s 2016 elections, Beijing has decided to play hardball and adopt provocative measures toward Taipei that threaten to reverse a decade of progress in alleviating tensions across the Taiwan Strait, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress.

The electoral success of President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) showed a desire by voters to reorient Taiwan’s cross-Strait policy to better protect their interests and to bring greater transparency to government activities, the issue brief says.

Rather than accept this democratic outcome and make a good-faith effort to avoid escalating tensions, Beijing has responded by adopting measures designed to isolate Taiwan and weaken its economy. This approach could lead to a further deterioration in cross-Strait ties at a time when peace and stability in East Asia are more fragile than at any point in the past two decades.

“At a time when the world is grappling with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the possibility of a second crisis in East Asia is especially unwelcome,” said Rudy deLeon, lead author of the issue brief. “If Beijing is serious about acting as a responsible global stakeholder, it should avoid tactics that further unsettle an already volatile region.”

Read the issue brief: “Asia Doesn’t Need Another Crisis: Beijing Should Not Overplay Its Hand in Cross-Strait Relations” by Rudy deLeon, Trevor Sutton, and Blaine Johnson.

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at 202-478-6327 or shananel@americanprogress.org.