David Rothkopf: How did the world’s two most powerful nations find themselves in a hair-raising crisis that could spill into a military conflict? He says the strangest aspect of the current conflict over Taiwan is how predictable it was. He says several errors have resulted in a dangerous reality: There is no serious working relationship between the 21st century's two powerful actors. But Beijing's errors are much more serious and strategic, he says, and China has changed its Taiwan policy, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Rosen: Beijing has reneged on virtually every important guarantee it made regarding the city-state's freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong, where Beijing renegesges on key guarantees it made about the city's freedom.
In the 1990s, few Taiwanese advocated for independence, and many believed reunification with China was inevitable. Today, according to National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center, support for independence is much stronger, having nearly doubled since 1997. Beijing recognizes that with Taiwan today, time is not on its side, and this has created a strategic challenge for Beijing.