China bans individual tourists from going to Taiwan

This ban is part of its broader efforts to pressure Taiwan

Adam Ni, China researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney.

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Beijing has just suspended a program that allows individual tourists from 47 mainland cities from visiting Taiwan. From August 1, mainland tourists would only be allowed to travel to Taiwan as part of a tour group. China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism cited the state of cross-strait relations as the reason for this ban.

This latest ban is part of a broader campaign by China to pressure Taiwan and the Tsai Ing-wen head of Taiwan’s 2020 election. Other elements of this campaign including military posturing, restricting Taiwan’s international space, united front activities to influence Taiwan’s internal politics, psychological operations, and using other economic levers.

I wrote about the military aspects of this campaign yesterday (June 29) in the context of the currently ongoing PLA exercises in the South and East China Seas:

As food for thought, here is what a 2020/2021 cross-strait crisis scenariocould look like:

Why is China pressuring Taiwan harder in recent years?

  1. China has growing confidence in its ability to impose its will on Taiwan, and to effectively deter US and allied intervention in a contingency;

  2. The CCP feels that the window for “reunification” is closing as people in Taiwan, especially the younger, are developing a stronger local identity.

  3. For Xi Jinping, successful “reunification” is a legacy issue that would make him greater than Mao in the CCP Pantheon.