A self-ruled democracy China claims as its own, Taiwan is up against a formidable campaign from Beijing.

US missiles give Taiwan ability to strike Chinese mainland
The United States has offered to supply Taiwan with weapons that can strike targets on the Chinese mainland as it helps the island increase its ability to counter any attack from Beijing. Military experts said the latest US arms sales, the first of their kind for more than four decades, were intended to enable Taipei to counter the increasingly modernized firepower of Beijing, which considers the self-ruled democracy to be part of its territory and has vowed to take the island – by force if necessary. The latest batch of proposed arms sales – the eighth to be approved during Donald Trump’s presidency – was welcomed by Taipei on Thursday in the face of growing military intimidation from Beiji
Greta Thunberg declares support for ‘Hong Kong 12’
Greta Thunberg, the high-profile global environmental activist, has waded into sensitive Chinese politics by demanding the release of 12 Hong Kong fugitives detained in mainland China after being arrested at sea while fleeing to Taiwan.  The Swedish environmentalist shared on Twitter a picture of her holding a whiteboard bearing the message “#SAVE12HKYOUTHS” in response to a direct appeal to back the cause from Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the poster boy of Hong Kong’s protest movement. She also wrote, “12 is more than just a number” and called on three other environmental activists to join her in the cause. The arrest of 12 Hong Kong activists in August has made international headlines and turned
Two Taiwanese musicians may get fined for performing in China
The Taiwanese authorities have threatened to fine two singers for taking part in a mainland Chinese state media show. Ouyang Nana, a Taiwanese cellist and singer, will join singers from Hong Kong in a performance that will be broadcast on CCTV on Wednesday, ahead of the October 1 anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The gala will also feature Angela Chang, another Taiwanese singer, in a chorus celebrating the contributions of those who helped fight Covid-19. The singers have millions of fans on the mainland, but Taiwanese authorities said their participation was an attempt by the Beijing authorities to put pressure on the self-ruled island and promote a “one count
Skepticism of China is pushing this island toward an independence vote
When China officially opened its embassy to the Solomon Islands on Monday, exactly a year after wooing the Pacific Island nation away from Taiwan, there were smiles all around. During an opening ceremony in the capital Honiara, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the diplomatic switch to Beijing had been the “right thing to do” and put the archipelago of about 690,000 people on the “right side of history.” At the same moment about 60 miles away – authorities in Malaita, the most populous of the country’s nine provinces – were in the middle of preparations for an independence referendum fueled by growing suspicion and acrimony toward China. The planned vote, which Malaita’s
US presidential election: China, Trump and red lines on Taiwan
For Beijing, there is one very clear red line on Taiwan. If the self-ruled island moves toward independence, Beijing has said that it would be justified in “reunifying” Taiwan with the mainland by force, a position it spelt out 15 years ago in its Anti-Secession Law. Despite dramatic lows and opposing stands in their relationship, both sides of the Taiwan Strait have so far managed to avoid crossing that line and engaging in a direct confrontation. But in the last few months, in the lead-up to the US presidential election, Washington has tried to capitalize on anti-China sentiment by offering strong support for the island. Beijing has branded the actions “US provocations” and promised to def
Taiwan redesigned its passport so people won’t mistake it with China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. After Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in 2017, the White House issued a transcript of what the American president told reporters before he went into the meeting. It was a routine practice, except that the Trump administration made a mistake: the statement called Xi the president of the Republic of China. The Republic of China (ROC) is Taiwan’s government, which sits in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. Xi is the president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and he rules from the lush quarters of Zhongnanhai in Bei
China tells US to stop developing its relationship with Taiwan
The Chinese government has asked the US to stop deepening its unofficial diplomatic relations with Taiwan, after Washington’s announcement of a new economic dialogue with the island. “We called on the US to ... stop official interaction with Taiwan in all forms,” said Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday. Hua described the US Taiwan Relations Act, which allows for de facto diplomatic relations, as “illegal” and “invalid,” adding that it broke the one-China principle – under which Beijing insists that any country with which it has diplomatic relations must sever official links with Taipei. On Monday, US assistant secretary of state David Stilwell said
A wine renaissance in Taiwan
Chen Chien-hao, a 53-year-old winemaker in Taiwan, has won gold medals at a prestigious wine competition in Paris with his Vino Formosa. He has vowed to revitalize the lost wine industry in Taiwan.