Despite repeated warnings and threats to foreign powers over Taiwan, observers say Beijing has avoided spelling out consequences
Mainland China’s red lines have also created challenges in managing domestic expectations, experts say
In his first meeting with Joe Biden since he entered the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping labelled the “Taiwan issue” the “first red line that must not be crossed” in China-US relations.
While the language seemed unambiguous, the statement appeared to do little to advance relations between the two nations, which have spiralled downward to the point where there are concerns of a potential military confrontation.
The self-ruled island – which Beijing considers a renegade province – has become a geopolitical flash point. Both China and the United States have increased their military presence in the Taiwan Strait as they continue to insist they oppose “unilateral changes in the status quo”. And while the phrase “red line” is being used more often, exactly where that line is remains unclear.
When considering what constitutes crossing a red line that would trigger Beijing’s use of military force, Beijing’s Anti-Secession Law, which was passed in 2005, is the most commonly cited document by experts from Taiwan, mainland China and the United States.
The document provides a legal framework that specifies three conditions under which Beijing said it would use “non peaceful means” for Taiwan’s reunification. These include Taiwanese authorities formally pursuing secession from China, “incidents entailing Taiwan’s secession from China”, or a situation in which “possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted.”
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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