dangerous straits: Chinese and U.S. tensions over Taiwan has been for decades one of the world's most dangerous situations.  How long can the tense peace last?
read a discussion with producer gideon joseph introduction

China specialists, key government officials and journalists in Washington, Beijing, and Taipei
experts' analyses

The China-U.S. relationship
Why the Taiwan issue is so dangerous
The realities of China today
chronology & map

new york times reports
readings & links
join the discussion
teacher's guide
tapes & transcriptsprivacy policycreditspress reaction

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chat transcript + introduction + interviews + experts' analyses
chronology & map + new york times reporting + readings & links + discussion + teacher's guide
tapes & transcripts + press reaction + credits + frontline privacy policy
frontline + pbs online + wgbh

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Dangerous Straits

Since the terrible events of Sept 11th, the United States has worked hard to put together a worldwide coalition against international terrorism. Where will China come down? FRONTLINE and The New York Times explore the tensions between the U.S. and China and the troubles the relationship presents for President Bush, who plans a visit to China in October. The dramatic U.S. spy plane incident off the coast of China in early 2001 reminded us of the dangerous suspicion that exists between the world's most powerful country and its most populous one. China has been supportive of some Islamic states that the U.S. counts as its enemies, and there is also the simmering question of Taiwan. American support for Taiwan means that if it declares independence, the U.S. could be drawn into an international dispute that might lead to war. The Straits of Taiwan have been described by one China expert as "one of the most dangerous places in the world."

published oct. 2001