Tranh chấp của Trung Quốc với Đài Loan đang diễn ra gần hòn đảo tiền tuyến

vụ việc chết người ngoài khơi Kinmen, hòn đảo do Đài Loan kiểm soát, trở thành dịp mới nhất để Bắc Kinh cảnh báo và thử thách tổng thống đắc cử của Đài Loan

A small island controlled by Taiwan a few miles off China’s coast lived for decades in constant readiness for war. At one point in 1958, troops there hunkered in bunkers (ẩn náu trong hầm trú ẩn) as Communist forces rained hundreds of thousands of shells on them.

These days, the island, Kinmen, has become a hub of Taiwan’s commerce with China and its abandoned, weatherworn fortifications are tourist sites. Eight ferries a day take Taiwanese businesspeople and visitors from Kinmen to mainland China.

But the sea around Kinmen has again turned tense (căng thẳng) after two Chinese men onboard a speedboat died in the area last month while trying to flee a Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel (tàu).

Beijing asserts that Taiwan must accept unification (chấp nhận thống nhất), preferably peacefully, but under armed force if Chinese leaders decide that is necessary. Mr. Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party rejects China’s claim to Taiwan, and argues that the island-democracy will chart its own course — self-ruling in practice, even if most governments do not recognize Taiwan as a separate state.

More recently, tougher enforcement by the Taiwanese Coast Guard, which has seized and impounded intruding Chinese vessels, helped reduce the violations, Taiwanese officials said.

In less tense times, local representatives on Kinmen and in the Chinese province of Fujian, on the other side of the strait, might have been able to quickly settle disputes (có khả năng giải quyết nhanh chóng tranh chấp) such as that of the recent deaths. But mutual distrust between China and Taiwan is running high, and Beijing is especially touchy ahead of Mr. Lai’s inauguration.

Beijing has other ways of politically undermining Mr. Lai and has pointed to his share of votes — 40 percent — to assert that he does not represent Taiwan’s mainstream views. Mr. Xi also has his eye on the United States’ presidential election (bầu cử) in November and probably won’t make any big decisions over Taiwan before then, several experts say. And with China’s economy in such poor shape, Mr. Xi would probably rather avoid a major confrontation (cuộc đối đầu lớn) that could unnerve investors (làm nhà đầu tư lo lắng).

source: nytimes,

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