The 2008 election of Ma Ying-jeou drastically reduced tensions across the Taiwan Strait, and both mainland China and Taiwan moved quickly to improve their economic relationship. However, political and military contacts have not progressed at the same rate, and pose obstacles that could potentially derail their recent progress. Since 2006, CSIS has initiated a project that seeks to promote understanding and eventual implementation of confidence-building measures (CBMs) between Taiwan and mainland China. CBMs are needed to reduce the dangers of accidental conflict, establish patterns of cooperation, and lay the groundwork for building greater trust. The goal of the project is to bring the two sides of the Taiwan Strait closer to establishing a road map for implementing traditional and nontraditional CBMs.
In November 2006, CSIS led a three-day "Workshop on Confidence Building Measures" in Taipei. The workshop was attended by representatives from a range of Taiwan government agencies, and included presentations from American and Canadian specialists with functional or regional expertise in arms control and confidence building.
In April 2008, CSIS led a delegation of experts to Taipei and Beijing to hold meetings with experts and officials on potential CBMs in a variety of areas including military, human security, and environmental spheres. The final report, Promoting Confidence Building across the Taiwan Strait, was authored by CSIS senior associate Bonnie Glaser and Pacific Forum CSIS executive director Brad Glosserman, and was released at a September 16, 2008, event at CSIS. Ms. Glaser leads the project.
In August 2009, CSIS again led a delegation of U.S. experts to meet with their counterparts and officials in Taipei and Beijing to further understand views towards military CBMs on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The final report, Building Trust Across the Taiwan Strait: A Role for Military Confidence-building Measures, was authored by CSIS senior fellow Bonnie Glaser, and was released at a rollout event held on January 12, 2010. Ms. Glaser leads the project.