China - Taiwan

Chronology from Jan 2021 to May 2021

: Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is approved by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The bill that seeks to boost the United States’ capability to counter China’s aggression, including its belligerence against Taiwan.

: A court in Beijing sentences 46 Taiwan nationals, who were deported from Spain in 2016, to up to 13 years in jail for their alleged involvement in telecom fraud.

: President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga issue a joint statement after their summit, including: “We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.

: President Biden dispatches to Taipei former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg to reaffirm US support.

: Canada’s Parliament endorses Halifax Security Forum’s decision to award Tsai Ing-wen a prestigious leadership award after the Trudeau government threatened to pull funding from the organization.

: Twenty-five PLA aircraft, including 18 fighters and 4 bombers, enter Taiwan’s ADIZ, exceeding the previous record of 20 aircraft set on March 26.

: US Department of State issues new more permissive Taiwan Contact Guidelines.

: US Navy destroyer transits the Taiwan Strait, the fourth such passage under the Biden administration.

: US industry group reports that all of the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing capacity—nodes below 10 nanometers—is located in South Korea (8%) and Taiwan (92%).

: Office of the US Trade Representative issues its Trade Policy Agenda and 2020 Annual Report and expresses serious concerns about Taiwan’s agricultural policies that are not based on science and create barriers to market access for US pork and beef products.

: Palau’s President Surangel Whipps Jr visits Taiwan accompanied by US Ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland, who is reported to be the first US ambassador to visit Taiwan in an official capacity since 1978. China’s Foreign Ministry cautions against steps that might “damage Sino-US relations and the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

: US and Taiwan sign MOU to establish a Coast Guard Working Group.

: Twenty Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the largest incursion yet reported by the island’s defense ministry.

: Xi Jinping, during an inspection tour of Fujian province, instructs officials there “to be bold in exploring new paths for integrated cross-Strait development.”

: Incoming commander of US Pacific Command Adm. John Aquilino tells Senate Armed Services Committee that China might attack Taiwan much sooner than most think. If China is allowed to take over Taiwan, it would be a severe blow to the credibility of the United States as a strong and trusted partner in the region.

: Taiwan’s newly appointed Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chiu Tai-san calls on mainland China to take an attitude of “constructive ambiguity” toward the 1992 Consensus as he announces rules to allow business travelers from China to visit amid the COVID-19 pandemic. China immediately rejects the idea.

: China announces “22 Measures on Agriculture and Forestry,” which it says would offer more “equitable treatment” to Taiwan enterprises operating there.

: Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng tells reporters that Taiwan has received approval from the US to acquire critical components for the submarines it is building.

: Secretary of State Blinken stresses the importance of Taiwan ties to Paraguay’s president in a phone call.

: KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang announces the party has submitted 528,000 signatures to the Central Election Commission to initiate a referendum opposing the government’s decision to lift a ban on pork imports containing ractopamine. This would be well above the 289,667 required.

: Washington Post reports that the Chinese company Phytium is using chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) in a supercomputer developing China’s hypersonic glide vehicle.

: Premier Li Keqiang in the Government Work Report before the National People’s Congress repeats language from previous work reports emphasizing the one China principle, the 1992 Consensus, and promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China s reunification.

: Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expresses his government’s support for Taiwan’s participation at the WHO and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

: Taiwan announces it has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, 117,000 doses, from the COVAX allocation program of the World Health Organization.

: Biden administration issues “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance,” saying “We will support Taiwan, a leading democracy and a critical economic and security partner, in line with longstanding American commitments.”

: Secretary Blinken says he is committed to beginning talks on free trade agreement negotiations with Taiwan, and to inviting Taiwan to the Summit for Democracy, which the US plans to host later this year.

: US national security commission on artificial intelligence says (p.214) that the dependency of the United States on semiconductor imports, particularly from Taiwan, creates a strategic vulnerability for both its economy and military.

: China’s TAO announces that Chinese customs has banned import of Taiwanese pineapples over biosafety concerns.

: Taiwan’s Cabinet approves over NT$10 billion (US$357.1 million) to assist the domestic pork industry.

: Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua receives a letter from US National Economic Council (NEC) Director Brian Deese asking for help to resolve the shortage of automobile chips faced by American automobile manufacturers.

: Secretary of State Blinken tells Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in a telephone call that the US and its allies will hold Beijing accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait. Chinese media report Blinken committed to abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and the US “one-China Policy.”

: Guyana abruptly terminates an agreement with Taiwan to open an office in the South American country, hours after China urged Georgetown to “correct their mistake.”

: China’s new Coast Guard Law goes into effect after being passed by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress on Jan. 22.

: US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says that US must “impose costs” for China’s threats to Taiwan as well its actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

: Lowy Institute of Australia ranks Taiwan 3rd worldwide for COVID-19 performance behind New Zealand and Vietnam.

: China’s TAO announces that China has banned meat products from Taiwan to prevent the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza and consumption of meat with ractopamine.

: Fifteen Chinese military planes enter into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) but do not cross the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait.

: US State Department spokesman expresses concern at China’s “attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan.” He urges Beijing to “engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.”

: Vietnamese government approves Taiwan-based Foxconn’s investment of $270 million to build a new factory.

: Antony Blinken expresses at his confirmation hearing to be secretary of State “a strong and long bipartisan commitment to Taiwan” based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the US-China joint communiques; he promises to ensure Taiwan’s self-defense capability. US secretary of Defense nominee Lloyd J. Austin echoes the same position.

: At a World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting, the United States voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the global body as an observer state.

: Taoyuan voters recall Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), making him the first councilor in a special municipality ever to be recalled. A KMT spokesman calls it “the first domino effect resulting from the import of pork containing ractopamine.”

: New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (NZCIO) announces that New Zealand and Taiwan have signed a mutual customs arrangement.

: President Tsai Ing-wen holds a videoconference with US Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, whose trip to Taiwan was canceled at the last minute.

: Edward McMullen, US ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, officially meets Taiwan’s representative to Switzerland David Huang.

: US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra and his Taiwan counterpart Chen Hsing-hsing meet at the US embassy.

: Two medical groups in Taiwan protest the decision of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to list “Taiwan” as “Chinese Taipei.”

: Transition official states that Biden is committed to the “strong, principled, and bipartisan” support for Taiwan and will support “a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan.”

: Secretary Pompeo announces that Washington will no longer enforce Taiwan Contact Guidance that had restricted contacts between US officials and Taiwan counterparts since 1979.

: US and Taiwan hold a virtual political-military dialogue. US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper participates.

: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces that US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan because “Taiwan shows what a free China could achieve” as the US supports the Hong Kong people.

: Premier Su Tseng-chang calls on China to adhere to its promise to uphold Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2047. KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang called on Beijing and the Hong Kong government to be prudent and tolerant and not to harm or restrict the development of freedom and democracy in the territory.

: US National Security Council declassifies East Asia Pacific Security Policy. It states that the US seeks to enable Taiwan to develop an effective asymmetric defense. It also states that the US will implement a strategy capable of defending the first-island-chain, including Taiwan.

: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen calls for a meaningful dialogue with Beijing on an equal basis Friday in her New Year’s speech.

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