The lack of dialogue has become more concerning as cross-strait tensions have intensified, said Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. "We need to prepare the offramps ahead of time, because if we get into a crisis and there are no offramps, then that's where a very dangerous situation — a situation that's even more dangerous than it is now — could occur," said Stokes, citing collisions and the takedown of a plane as potential flashpoints.
Taiwan and China have no embassies in each other's capitals. Neither recognizes the other's government, a legacy of when officials from the defeated Republic of China fled to the island after Mao Zedong's communists won the Chinese civil war and proclaimed the People's Republic of China in 1949. Taiwan rejects China's sovereignty claims and vows to defend its freedom and democracy.
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