Beijing had 45 Taiwanese citizens deported from Kenya to China on fraud charges, a move Taiwan calls 'kidnapping.' It's just one of the ways that Beijing is sending a message to President-elect Tsai Ing-wen to not try to distance Taiwan from mainland China.
As more Taiwanese men marry Southeast Asian women, the island nation is beginning to think of itself as multi-ethnic, in a distinct departure from the mainland. The change is supported by younger generations.
Eric Chu is the chairman of the Nationalist Party, a historic adversary of China's Communist Party that is now united by a desire to boost economic cooperation. That has stirred opposition in self-ruled Taiwan.
A year ago, the Sunflower Movement wrong-footed President Ma Ying-jeou over the ratification of a controversial trade pact with China. Hundreds of protesters turned out Sunday in Taiwan's capital to mark the anniversary.
Chen and his "green" Taiwan identity politics has been anathema to mainland China. But after the "blue" pro-China ruling Nationalist party lost big in local elections Nov. 29, they want to appear conciliatory and friendly ahead of next year's presidential vote.
China issues expected angry statements after Taiwan says it will buy two vessels. But purchase is the first since 2010 and has little effect on the mainland's naval advantage vis-à-vis the democratic island.