Fear of conflict - the key to managing Taiwan tensions

Disagreement and lack of trust dog cross-strait issues, but there is one thing China, Taiwan and the US are agreed on – conflict avoidance. This shared priority should serve as a starting point for managing tensions.

A US-made howitzer in action during a drill in Taiwan’s Penghu in August. PHOTO: AFP
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Is the situation in the Taiwan Strait on a one-way escalator to eventual conflict?

Given the persistent ratcheting up of tensions in the Taiwan Strait in recent years, it is becoming easier for analysts to argue that the situation will continue to escalate until it reaches a breaking point. Such lazy cynicism is dangerous, though. The hard reality is that there is no military solution to tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

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