“There are many factors that make it extremely unlikely that the [People's Republic of China] will use military force to try to achieve the long-held goal of ‘reunification,’” Jeffrey Wasserstrom wrote in his book China in the 21st Century. For one, “money and people are moving across the straits regularly and in ways that benefit both countries.”
Quietly recognizing this, China and Taiwan have slowly begun to cooperate on low-level cross-Strait security. Last week the Taiwanese and Chinese coast guards held a combined rescue exercise off southeastern China, according to Focus Taiwan, reporting just before the event took place:
Boats and aircraft from Taiwan and China will simulate the collision of two ships on the Kinmen-Xiamen route — one of the busiest areas in the Taiwan Strait — and try to save passengers that fall into the sea, the [Coast Guard Administration] said. The CGA will send nine patrol boats, including a 500-ton patrol vessel, and helicopters to Kinmen for the joint drill. …
On Thursday, former Deputy Minister of National Defense Lin Chong-pin said that although the participants in the rescue drill are not from the military, he sees the event as a “positive signal” in the two sides’ pursuit of mutual military trust.