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Seminar discusses the fourth Taiwan Straits crisis, issues report on China-US signaling on the Taiwan question

《环球时报》 2022-09-15

Washington has stepped up its efforts to use Taiwan question to contain China in recent years, increasingly hollowing out the one-China principle. Chinese scholars warned at a forum on Tuesday that if this trend goes on unchecked, the tension between China and the US will escalate significantly, which could trigger a security crisis or even lead to a larger military conflict.

Under this background, the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies released a report named China-US Signaling, Action-Reaction Dynamics on the Taiwan Question: A Preliminary Examination based on joint research with the US Institute of Peace on a seminar on China-US Relations and the Fourth Taiwan Straits Crisis on Tuesday.

The report focuses on how China and the US interpreted each other's policy signals on the Taiwan question in the first ten weeks after the Biden administration took office and analyzes how this interpretation process affects bilateral mutual policy interactions. Both Chinese and American research teams believe that the interpretation of policy signals by the two sides is quite different. The report's assessment and analysis of the views of China and the US draws the following insights: in-depth dialogue is very important to maintain the stability and predictability of the relationship between the two major powers; the two sides should conduct regular in-depth dialogues on the Taiwan question at all levels; and both sides should pay close attention to the impact of public opinion on their own and each other's decision-making environment.

Xin Qiang, director of the Center for Taiwan Studies at Fudan University said at the forum that the future direction of the Taiwan Straits situation will mainly depend on the actions of the US side. We hope to build so-called guardrails between China and the US on the basis of the one-China principle. However, although the US says it wants guardrails, it's in fact dismantling the guardrails.

Chen Dongxiao, president of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, expressed doubts about whether the US has the ability and willingness to learn lessons and prevent the political foundations of China-US relations from being further damaged and eroded under the current domestic system and political ecology of the US. Chen pointed out that the decay of US domestic politics has exacerbated the irresponsible and arbitrary actions of some US politicians on China-US relations, especially the Taiwan question, which has seriously shaken the political foundations of China-US relations.

Many scholars at the conference were not optimistic about the prospects for future improvement in China-US relations. Yuan Zheng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, said that in the near future, the challenges in US-China relations will outweigh the opportunities. This near future may be in the next five or even ten years, he added that since the US has repeatedly emphasized the principle of reciprocity and sought cooperation from China on specific issues such as drugs, fentanyl, transnational crime, and climate change, then shouldn't the US offer some sincere cooperation on issues of concern to the Chinese side?