East Asia Watch

Taiwan's future - three dangerous trends

Shifts in recent years in China, the US and Taiwan have reduced room for compromise and raised the likelihood of conflict

Ms Tsai Ing-wen's victory in Taiwan's presidential election earlier this month has been widely welcomed, and one can see why. It reaffirms the Taiwanese people's commitment to democracy and their unique identity.

But it also raises deep anxieties about where the whole issue of Taiwan's future is headed. It is harder than ever now to see how rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait can be avoided, and all too easy to see how those tensions could erupt into conflict. And that would be a disaster - for the Taiwanese themselves, for the rest of Asia and for the world beyond.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2020, with the headline 'Taiwan's future - three dangerous trends'. Subscribe