For the People’s Republic of China, “taking back” Taiwan is a political necessity, and it has never renounced the use of force to achieve that. Equally clearly, most of the 24 million citizens of Taiwan – an island with a democratically elected government that has long been a de facto independent state – do not want to be part of the PRC.
This clash of goals and values has intensified since 2019 amid deteriorating relations between China and the United States, which is a traditional, if unofficial, partner of Taiwan. In mid-2020, this already tense situation was further aggravated by Beijing’s imposition of a harsh state security law on rebellious Hong Kong that effectively nixed the “high degree of autonomy” promised when Hong Kong peacefully became part of the PRC in 1997. The law suggests to the world that Beijing has given up hope that the “One Country, Two Systems” formula it had offered to Hong Kong would work for Taiwan. Today, Beijing is increasingly provoking Taiwan militarily, as well as conducting hybrid and information operations with the aim of destabilizing its society.
In this complicated environment, Germany has introduced new Indo-Pacific Guidelines that potentially give it a role to play in Asian security. This event will address the realities, risks, and opportunities of these interlocking issues.
Prof. Dr. Jhy-Wey Shieh
Taiwan Representative, Taipei Representative Office in Germany
Wen Cheng Lin
Professor at the National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan
Didi Kirsten Tatlow
Senior Fellow Asia Program, DGAP
Dr. Hermann Halbeisen
Professor at the University of Cologne, Germany
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