Stratfor Center for Applied Geopolitics at RANE


Special Briefing Session Replay:

Between Great Powers: Global Implications of Taiwan Tensions
Taiwan sits at the intersection of U.S. and Chinese competition. Tensions around Taiwan remain high amid China’s assertion of its political, economic, and military power, a changing demographic in Taiwan that increasingly identifies as Taiwanese rather than Chinese, and a United States that seeks to protect its technology supply lines and reinforce its maritime access to the South and East China Seas.

The new “status quo” includes record-level Chinese military incursions into Taiwanese airspace, more Chinese maritime exercises around the island, and expanded Chinese use of economic pressure tactics, diplomatic isolation, and cyberattacks. Washington is stepping up arms sales to the island, political visits are on the rise, and U.S. and partner navies are increasing their patrols in the key waterways around Taiwan. The visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and China’s multiple simultaneous live fire exercises highlight the speed with which political actions can rapidly disrupt trade and stability.

Tensions are likely to rise as Taiwan nears its local elections later this year and presidential elections in 2024. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred speculation once again of whether or when Beijing may resort to overt force to change Taiwan’s political direction.

Will these increasing cross-strait tensions lead to outright military conflict? In what ways do the political tensions ripple into both short-term disruptive events and long-term challenges to supply chain resilience? How do Chinese, U.S., and Taiwanese options evolve, and how may these impact economic patterns far from the Taiwan strait?

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