Taiwan’s claims in the South China Sea are often regarded as virtually indistinguishable from China’s. On paper, Taiwan and China appear to be making substantially the same claims and the controversial U-shaped dashed line may be found on ROC and PRC maps alike. Neither government has officially clarified the dashed line’s meaning or assigned its coordinates.
Dr Kuok, however, argues that Taiwan has in the past year taken small but significant steps toward clarifying its claims. It has also adopted a more conciliatory approach best illustrated by President Ma’s official launch of a South China Sea Peace Initiative in May 2015. These moves imply possible daylight between Taiwan and China regarding the South China Sea. Dr. Kuok will examine these developments, as well as the costs, benefits, and chances of widening or narrowing that daylight in the larger context of Taipei-Beijing relations, domestic considerations including the January 2016 election in Taiwan, and the responses of other actors in the region.