China Is Keeping Its Options Open on Pressuring Taiwan

China Is Keeping Its Options Open on Pressuring Taiwan
Hostesses refill tea for Chinese President Xi Jinping during an event commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 9, 2021 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

“Never before have we been so close to, confident in, and capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation. The same is true when it comes to our goal of complete national reunification.”

So reads a new white paper issued by the Taiwan Affairs office of the State Council of China. While the lengthy document’s framework laying claim to Taiwan is based on long-standing Chinese positions, the tone serves to underscore Beijing’s confidence that it will achieve peaceful unification with Taiwan on its own terms.

The document is also pertinent for its “policy as messaging” function, both to Taiwan and the U.S. politicians that support it. In the aftermath of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary and analysis in the U.S. and elsewhere has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations, as well as the prospects for a new crisis or even war in the Taiwan Strait. China’s live-fire military drills, as well as the economic and diplomatic measures it has imposed on Taiwan and the U.S. in response to the visit, have raised alarm, leaving Western analysts divided over whether Pelosi’s trip was an unnecessary provocation of Beijing or an important symbolic gesture of support to Taipei.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.