The Stream

Will China ever let Taiwan be Taiwan?

On Tuesday, August 23 at 19:30 GMT:
As China and Taiwan ramp up their military drills amid strained cross-strait and US-China relations, uneasy questions over the future of a democratic Taiwan loom for the island’s 23 million inhabitants.

Increased air and sea military exercises have been carried out on both sides of the Taiwan Strait this month after a controversial visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered Chinese officials.

In recent years, Beijing has become more aggressive in declaring its ambitions to take over the island and has threatened force against the Taiwanese if they declare independence. US President Joe Biden recently reiterated US forces’ commitment to defend the island militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.

One of Asia’s most progressive democracies, Taiwan is a de facto independent state with its own government, national defence and foreign affairs. Yet, due to Beijing’s unyielding insistence that it will someday be a part of China, only 14 states globally have official diplomatic ties with the island.

So what does the future hold for Taiwan? In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the impact of recent cross-strait events on Taiwan and the outlook for the island.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Brian Hioe, @brianhioe
Founding editor, New Bloom Magazine

Freddy Lim, @FreddyLim
Member of Taiwan’s parliament

Wei-Ting Yen, @poscwty
Assistant professor of government, Franklin & Marshall College