China's Hopes for Bridging the Taiwan Strait

Aug 7, 2013 | 10:23 GMT

China's Hopes for Bridging the Taiwan Strait
Taiwanese missile boats patrol the Taiwan Strait during a military drill in May.

(SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)


More than six decades after Taiwan's estrangement from mainland China, the Taiwan Strait still represents the most physically formidable and symbolically inaccessible barrier to Beijing's objective of eventual reunification with the island. Over the course of its history, Taiwan switched hands from colonial occupiers including the Europeans and Japanese before becoming the prospective battleground between China and Taiwan in the second half of the 20th century. In recent years, military tensions between China and Taiwan have eased, and Beijing hopes that enhanced economic integration and the physical infrastructure it wants to build one day across the Taiwan Strait could bring the country a step closer to fulfilling a core geopolitical imperative by reuniting with the island.

Though such a project is unlikely in the near term, Beijing wants to build physical infrastructure connecting the mainland to Taiwan....

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