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Flashpoint Taiwan: Tensions escalate between China and the West

Today, Brian Hioe explains how Taiwan became a pawn in a global competition between China and the West — and what that means for the island’s people.
A man walks on an overpass decorated with Taiwan flags to celebrate the upcoming National Day in Taipei, Taiwan, October 7, 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

As Taiwan celebrated its National Day on Sunday, the autonomous island was also sending a message to China: Leave us alone. 

Taiwan has become a flashpoint for China's escalating tension with the United States, which provides political and military support for Taiwan, and its other Western allies. 

But what does that mean for the people who actually live there?  

Brian Hioe is a founding editor of New Bloom magazine in Taiwan. He says too often, the West sees this island as a bartering chip for relations with China — and that being a proxy for global power games doesn't actually help Taiwanese people.

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