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Strategic Vision vol. 5, no. 30 (December, 2016)

Unforseen Dangers Alarmist rhetoric from China unnecessarily raises tenions in the Taiwan Strait Jonathan Spangler and Guang-chang Bian

photo: VOA In the wake of ROC President Tsai Ing-wen’s victory, media reports have been sensationalistic regarding the future of trilateral Taiwan-US-China ties.


ince early 2016, a series of articles on the “three unforeseens” (sange xiangbudao), or previously unanticipated issues affecting the future of cross-strait relations, has been published and widely disseminated online. These three unforeseens relate to Taipei’s resolve regarding Taiwan independence, Beijing’s determination regarding uni-

to resist the articles’ sensationalist interpretation of today’s relations between China, Taiwan, and the United States, have republished and reported on them, expanding their reach and adding fuel to the flames. One such commentator, Li Yi, a researcher with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at China’s Renmin University, was positively gloating

fication, and Washington’s underestimation of the explosiveness of cross-strait relations. Media outlets on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, entirely unable

over the new-found infamy he achieved by publishing follow-up articles with the aim of reinvigorating the catchphrase and bringing it into mainstream use.

Jonathan Spangler is the Director of the South China Sea Think Tank and a doctoral fellow at Academia Sinica. He can be reached at Guang-chang Bian is a professor of Strategic Studies at the ROC National Defense University.