As China threatens the United States' global supremacy, amid the fight between the two world empires, Taiwan found itself caught, quite uncomfortably.
Taiwan is financially dependent on Beijing; however, it counts on Washington for its own defense and foreign political support.
Evan Tsao, 31, a master's degree graduate in international affairs from Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, says, "Recently, the Taiwanese people tend to think that we don't want to be a piece on the chessboard anymore." He continued: "We don't want to be manipulated or caught in a great power competition."
This week, China and Taiwan exchanged arrows over a violent fistfight, which erupted at the latest Taiwan National Day event in Fiji between Chinese ambassadors and Taiwanese government employees.
Taiwan has little to no interest in communist China being dominated by it. The democratic island, under President Tsai Ing-wen, has opted to cooperate very tightly with the U.S., its most potent unofficial partner and weapons supplier.
A spokesperson for Taiwan's foreign ministry, Joanne Ou, stated, "Taiwan and the United States' shared values of democracy, freedom, and a market economy are an important basis for the vigorous development of the Taiwan-U.S. partnership."
"In terms of security, arms sales to Taiwan and exchanges between the two sides have maintained peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Ou added. "Economically, through close trade exchanges with each other, both sides have promoted greater economic prosperity."
Under President Xi Jinping, in an approach to correct what it believes are movements against Taiwan's independence, China has raised economic and strategic tension on Taiwan and attempted to weaken it diplomatically. Simultaneously, the government of President Donald Trump also adopted drastic measures to strengthen U.S. aid for Taiwan.
The partnership between China and the U.S. has been worsening over matters including trade, Hong Kong's new national defense legislation, South China Sea imperialism, U.S. efforts to regulate Chinese TikTok, and WeChat applications, and even the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, there is still uneasiness in many Taiwanese.
As a "like-minded nation" with democratic principles, Tsai has allied Taiwan more strongly with the U.S. in exchange; the U.S. has provided Taiwan additional assistance, such as more weapons, missiles, and fighter jets.
The U.S. seeks to move global supply chains from China to Taiwan. It announces that Taipei is expecting expects a bilateral free trade agreement to bring about an economic discussion based on technology, energy, and health.
As Taipei and Washington snuggle up, Beijing is angry for what it's seeing.
Joseph Wu, Taiwan's foreign minister, told journalists early this year that the Chinese government may strike Taiwan to distract attention from the public from China's slowdown in economic growth and other domestic issues.
Beijing has intensified military activity around Taiwan in recent months, with infiltrations into the seas as well as airspace of the island.
Washington and Taipei were suspected of "stepping up collusion" by a Chinese justice ministry spokesman and termed the simulations "justified and necessary action to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity." They also cautioned, "those who play with fire will get burned."
Recognizing the horrible Chinese-U.S. military dispute at a gathering on Friday, President Xi Jinping referred to Taiwan during the Korean War. He stated: "We will never sit back and watch any damage to our national sovereignty, and we will never allow any force to invade or divide the sacred territory of the motherland."
In Taiwan, China's military cockiness is just backing up and urging assistance for continuous partnership with the U.S.