Is Xi Jinping’s Taiwan reunification push hastening a US-China clash?

Fragile power balance in Taiwan Strait exposed with superpowers locked in a trade war. Taipei using the US as a hedge against mainland’s pressure campaign.

Beijing’s renewed push for reunification with Taiwan has exposed the fragility of the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait – a relationship increasingly in question with China and the United States locked in a superpower rivalry over trade and geopolitical friction.

Government advisers and analysts warn that the deadlocked cross-strait relations are entering a dangerous period, with an expectation of escalating tensions in the months ahead as an increasingly isolated Taipei tilts further towards Washington, seeking a hedge against Beijing’s aggressive pressure campaign.

The self-governed island’s fate – the most disruptive factor in Beijing’s complex relations with Washington – could touch off a chain reaction that exacerbates the strain on bilateral ties, already mired in a protracted trade war and escalating technology race, they say.