China - Taiwan
Chronology from Sep 2021 to Dec 2021
: All four referendums supported by the Nationalist (KMT) party fail, including one that would have blocked President Tsai’s initiative to open Taiwan’s market to US pork with the additive ractopamine in an effort to jumpstart negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement.
: Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang briefs the US Summit for Democracy on Taiwan’s digital democracy. Her video is cut off momentarily while Tang is showing a map that marks Taiwan and China in different colors, contravening the US “one China” policy. The Department of State stated that the interruption of Tang’s video was unintentional.
: Nicaragua and the PRC announce they have established diplomatic relations and that Nicaragua has severed ties with Taiwan.
: In Congressional testimony Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner positions Taiwan within the US Indo-Pacific defense posture in new and direct ways, calling the island a “critical node… anchoring a network of US allies and partners.”
: China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) confirms that it will repatriate the suspect in a deadly Nov. 22 shooting in New Taipei back to Taiwan from Xiamen. This comes less than a week after international nongovernmental organization Safeguard Defenders reported that about 610 Taiwanese nationals accused of crimes in other countries were extradited to China from 2016 to 2019.
: Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua announce the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) dialogue framework.
: Former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo states that Japan cannot tolerate a military invasion of Taiwan.
: Shanghai-Taipei City Forum debuts. Mayor Ko Wen-je of Taipei calls for both sides to promote meaningful dialogue.
: Tsai meets with US Congressional delegation led by Rep. Mark Takano (D-California), chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and announces that starting from January next year, Taiwan’s Veterans Affairs Council will open an office in Washington.
: Legislative Yuan passes a special budget for procuring naval and air combat capabilities, set for a total of NT$237.3 billion (about US$8 billion). The most expensive item is the shore-based anti-submarine missile system project, which costs NT$79.7 billion (about US$2.8 billion).
: US Pacific Fleet announces that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) passed through the Taiwan Strait.
: Subsidiaries of Taiwan’s Far Eastern Group in Shanghai and four provinces are punished over violations ranging from environmental protection to staff and fire safety rules. Analysts infer that the conglomerate is being sanctioned for election contributions to Taiwan officials on Beijing’s “separatist” blacklist.
: Taiwan’s Air Force inaugurates the first squadron of 141 F-16A/B aircraft that had been converted to F-16V BLK20.
: “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania” officially opens. This is the first representative office in Europe that uses the name “Taiwanese.”
: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets Korean and Japanese deputy foreign ministers. Among other topics, they express shared concern about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
: President Biden says of Taiwan: “It’s independent. It makes its own decisions.” White House officials later insist that the president was not changing US policy.
: Taiwan Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua announces that Taiwan investments in “New Southbound” countries reached US$5.35 billion in the first eight months of 2021, an increase of nearly 200% compared to the same period last year
: President Biden tells President Xi during their virtual summit that the US opposes any unilateral change in the cross-Strait status quo, according to a White House readout. White House officials subsequently confirm a Chinese readout that Biden said the US opposes Taiwan independence, noting that is a longstanding US position.
: EU postpones a confidential plan to upgrade its trade ties with Taiwan, in a sign of internal uncertainty over how to balance ties with Taipei and Beijing.
: Dalai Lama says that he wants to avoid getting involved in the “complicated politics” between Taiwan and mainland China, implying he is not planning to visit Taiwan.
: Six-member Congressional delegation led by Sen. John Cornyn arrives in Taipei on a US Navy C-40 plane.
: Delegation representing the EU Parliament Committee on Foreign Interference in Democratic Processes arrives in Taiwan, the first time that the European Parliament has sent an official delegation to Taiwan.
: US Department of Defense releases 2021 China Military Power Report assessing that the mainland is rapidly promoting military modernization with a goal of being able to compete with the US military in the Indo-Pacific region by 2027 and forcing Taiwan’s leaders to negotiate on terms set by Beijing.
: Taiwanese-American Michelle Wu is elected mayor of Boston, the first mayor of that city who is not a white male.
: Taiwan’s MoD announces that starting in 2022, educational mobilization of reserved military men will increase to 14 days per year and that shooting training and combat training will both be increased.
: President Tsai confirms the presence of US military trainers in Taiwan during a CNN interview.
: EU officials acknowledge that Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will meet EU officials during a visit to Brussels.
: Taiwanese delegation visiting Europe signs five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Czech officials to bolster ties in the cyber security, space, catalyst technology, green energy, and smart machinery fields.
: Italy’s Corriere della Sera reports that China is putting pressure on the Vatican to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan and establish diplomatic ties with the PRC.
: Rick Waters, deputy assistant secretary of state for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, tells a seminar hosted by the German Marshall Foundation that China is “misusing” UN Resolution No. 2758 of the United Nations to block Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Assembly.
: Harvard Crimson student newspaper reports that the school will move its summer Chinese learning program from Beijing to Taipei starting 2022.
: In her National Day address, President Tsai proposes cross-Strait dialogue be based on four commitments, including that the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China are not subordinate to each other.
: At a ceremony honoring the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, CCP General Secretary Xi emphasizes that Beijing will adhere to the basic principles of peaceful unification and “one country, two systems,” as well as the “One-China” principle and “1992 Consensus,” to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.
: Wall Street Journal quotes an unnamed US official on Oct. 7 saying that more than 20 US special operations and marine contingent personnel have been secretly stationed in Taiwan for at least a year to assist in training Taiwan’s land and sea forces to strengthen Taiwan’s defense capabilities.
: AIT Taipei Director Sandra Oudkirk assures Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua that the US government request for chipmakers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), to submit data on chip inventory and sales records is not targeting Taiwan but is intended to understand the root causes of the global chip shortage.
: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense states that from Oct. 1-4, PLA aircraft intruded Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) 149 times. The incursion of 56 military aircraft on Oct. 4 was the highest number ever in a single day.
: Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung announces that Taiwan plans to appeal China’s ban on the import of wax apples and custard apples from Taiwan to the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. China claimed it repeatedly detected Planococcus minor—an insect pest—on sugar-apple and java apple from Taiwan since the beginning of 2021.
: Xi Jinping congratulates Eric Chu on his election as KMT chairman and welcoming the KMT’s commitment to the 1992 Consensus. Chu responds, attacking President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party for destabilizing cross-Strait relations and assuring Xi of the KMT’s commitment to the 1992 Consensus. Chu also announces plans to reopen a representative office in Washington D.C.
: Taiwan formally applies to join the CPTPP as “the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu,” the same name it uses in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
: US Navy missile destroyer USS Barry conducts a “routine” transit through the Taiwan Strait on the same day. It is the ninth time a US military vessel transited the strait since President Biden took office in January.
: China formally applies to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) the day after the groundbreaking Australia-United Kingdom-United States defense alliance (AUKUS) was announced.
: Taiwan’s Executive Yuan approves a special budget of NT$240 billion (about $8.6 billion) to procure domestically produced missile systems, air defense systems, and high-efficiency ships over the next five years. The procurement is expected to include the Hsiung Sheng cruise missile system, which has a range of about 600 km and can reach military targets in mainland China.
: In a joint statement at the conclusion of their annual AUSMIN meeting, foreign and defense ministers of the US and Australia emphasize that Taiwan plays an important role in the Indo-Pacific region and that they will strengthen relations with Taiwan and support its international participation. They also call for peaceful resolution of cross-strait disputes.
: European Parliament adopts a resolution urging the EU to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan. The Parliament also calls for “concrete proposals and action” by the European Commission to facilitate Taiwan’s full participation as an observer in United Nations agencies, such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
: Czech Republic hosts a meeting under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a Taiwan-US-Japan platform for like-minded partners. The event takes place at the Czech Senate and is opened by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, who led an 89-member delegation to Taiwan in 2020.
: Taiwan’s National Security Council Secretary General Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attend the regular US-Taiwan Monterey Talks, which discuss military plans and acquisitions.
: Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo tells Mainichi Shimbun that, since Taiwan is an important ally and is geographically close by, Japan cannot stand aside when events occur in Taiwan.
: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that backing US leadership is “the only way forward” to address Taiwan Strait challenges.