Cross-Strait Security Initiative

The purpose of this project is to serve as a repository for material to aid specialists and laymen alike in better understanding the many complexities and nuances of cross-Strait affairs.

Welcome to the Taiwan Cross-Strait Website, created by the International Security Program (ISP) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). "Cross-Strait" refers to the Taiwan Strait, the body of water that separates the island of Taiwan and mainland China. The purpose of this site is to serve as a repository for material to aid specialists and laymen alike in better understanding the many complexities and nuances of cross-Strait affairs.

At issue is the sovereign status of Taiwan, to which the Chinese Nationalist government fled in 1949 during a bitter civil war with the communists under Mao Zedong. Today, after more than 50 years of Cold War tensions and tremendous changes on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan and the mainland remain de facto separate political entities and thus constitute a potential military flashpoint that not only threatens the well-being of the two societies but also threatens the stability of East Asia more broadly. Indeed at stake may well be conflict between two nuclear weapons states, the United States and China. Broad public understanding of this delicate and high-stakes issue is clearly critical, and forms the basis for this website.

This website is a part of the ISP's Cross-Strait Security Initiative, which focuses on military balance issues, confidence building measures and changing social dynamics between China and Taiwan. The goal of this initiative is to increase understanding in the United States on the delicate and complex dynamics of cross-Strait affairs.

Background & Overview—Background and broad summary of the cross-Strait issue. Includes maps, statistics, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Chronology—A comprehensive chronology of key events in the development of Taiwan and the current situation across the Taiwan Strait. Includes discussions and links to major official documents and policy statements of the U.S., China, and Taiwan over the past century.

Policy & Perspectives—Discussions of policy stances of the United States, China, Taiwan and other governments concerning the cross-Strait issue.

Strategic Balance—In-depth examination of prevailing trends in Chinese and Taiwan domestic affairs e.g. political, economic, social, and cultural developments, the military balance, and potential confidence building measures across the Taiwan Strait.

Links—Links to other general resources regarding the Taiwan Cross-Strait issue.

* The use of the terms China and Taiwan in this website is done for the sake of simplicity and clarity, and not to make a political statement or reflect any judgment on the question of Taiwan sovereignty.

International Security Program

Contact Information
Contact Bonnie S. Glaser
Tel: (202) 775-3103