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Cross-Straight Tensions Continue To Rise

Posted on in International Trade · Foreign Policy · International Relations · International Conflict · International Peace

Over the last several weeks, the Chinese military has increasingly attempted to flex its muscle by holding combat drills in the Taiwan Strait. There have been multiple incursions in which Chinese fighter jets have entered Taiwanese airspace by crossing the Taiwan Strait mid-line. The military exercises are widely seen as an attempt by the Chinese government to intimidate Taiwanese independence efforts and send a message to Taiwan’s strongest ally: the U.S.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Cross-Straight Tensions Continue To Rise”


“China flies 18 warplanes near Taiwan during U.S. envoy’s visit”

“US holds its second high-profile visit to Taiwan in two months as Beijing escalates military pressure”

“Alex Azar visit to Taiwan adds to mounting U.S.-China tension”

“Taiwan scrambles jets during visit by senior U.S. official, accuses China of buzzing island”

“The US election could be a danger for Taiwan, an opportunity for China”

“Taiwan will ‘fire back’ if attacked by China: military source”

“China flies at least 19 warplanes in Taiwan airspace”

“Taiwan president says drills show China is threat to region”


  • Writing:  Describe why China is threatening military action against Taiwan. Why is China so sensitive about Taiwan?
  • Debate:  The United States should protect Taiwan against Chinese aggression.
  • Poll:  What should Taiwan decide to do concerning its political status?
  • Short Answer: What would be the consequences if Taiwan decided to become an independent sovereign country?

Current events quiz:

1) All the following are true EXCEPT.

a. Taiwan is viewed by China as a renegade province.
b. Taiwan acts as a de facto independent state.
c. The U.S. recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign country.
d. The U.S. provides military assistance to Taiwan.

2) Which of the following statements is accurate regarding Taiwanese views on independence?

a. Most people want reunification with China
b. A minority of people want independence
c. A third of people do not hold a particular view
d. Nearly a quarter of people prefer to maintain the status quo

3) If Taiwan declares independence, what will likely be China’s response?

a. Military action
b. Economic trade war
c. Diplomatic isolation
d. Cooperation and recognition

4) China can take solace that a majority of Taiwanese support unification with the mainland. (T/F)

5) The U.S. has recently been bolder in the way it engages with and supports Taiwan. (T/F)

6) China and U.S. relations have recently improved. (T/F)


1) C

2) D

3) A

4) False

5) True

6) False


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Featured Image Credit: Latinboy / Taiwan Presidential Office at

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