China’s Move to Ratchet Up Tensions With Taiwan Could Backfire

Taiwanese military officers stand beneath Taiwan's flag onboard a navy frigate during military exercises off Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Jan. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).
Taiwanese military officers stand beneath Taiwan's flag onboard a navy frigate during military exercises off Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Jan. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

This week, a Chinese airline, China Eastern, canceled 106 round-trip flights to Taiwan around the busy Lunar New Year, citing a refusal by Taiwanese authorities to approve the flights. The spat is the latest in an escalating row between Beijing and Taipei at a time when the Trump administration’s policies in East Asia are raising concerns among some U.S. allies in the region. In an email interview, Joel Atkinson, an associate professor of East Asian international relations at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea, discusses what’s behind the heightened tensions, how Washington fits in, and what […]

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