used the island as a springboard for inciting rebellion in Qing China during the seventeenth century, the Japanese military launched operations against China from Taiwan during World War II, and Republic of China (ROC) raids were unleashed from Taiwan against Communist China during the Cold War.¶Today, as Chinese projectspower into the South China Sea and beyond, People’s Republic of China (PRC) analysts continue to view Taiwan’s U.S.-enabled de facto independence as a threat to the PRC’s national securityand an impediment to China’s national greatness. On the contrary, a Taiwan that is united with the Mainland is describedas a springboard to project power past the first island chain. Such views are apparent to those who peek just beneath the surface of the PRC’s rhetoric expounding the rationales of national humiliation, national unity, and territorial integrity for subjugating the island.¶A common themefound inreadily available Chinese writings is that Taiwan is the “key” to the PRC’s regional ambitions. Firstly, Taiwan continues to be described in CCP and scholarly sources as either a shield guarding China’s rich coastal underbelly or a danger to China’s regional security. Prominent Shandong University scholar Ma Fengshu(马马马) wrotein 2014 that Taiwan is the core of China’s most strategically-important area: its eastern geopolitical block. Ma assesses that this block is crucial for China’s economic development and alsopossesses the highest latent potential for conflict, given the area’s current U.S. domination and the perceived infringements on China’s territorial rightsthere. In order to deal with the threat of conflict, Ma states that China must overcome U.S. regional manipulation by fully exploitingEast Asian states’ economicrelianceon China, including Taiwan’s.¶Similar ideas are professed by Zhang Wenmu(马马马), a scholar at Beihang University’s Center for Strategic Studies. In January 2016, Zhang asserted that China mustadhere toMao Zedong’s strategy to confront multiple complicated contradictions: first identify and address the main contradiction, and the rest will easily fall into place.Regarding China’s present territorial friction versus the United States, Japan, and ASEAN states, Zhang asserts that the main “contradiction” lies within the Taiwan issue:¶Presently the East China Sea and South China Sea give rise to a good deal of hard-to-solve problems;their roots rest under the control of the Taiwan Problem. If China accomplishes the Taiwan Strait’s unification, the area between Taiwan Island and Hainan Island can form an expansive protectionmaritime region for China’s southeast economic golden zone, and in this way, theSouth China Sea issue’s resolution will become, relatively speaking, a lot easier.
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People's Republic of China, Political status of Taiwan, Taiwan.