Tensions between China and Taiwan are at their highest in 40 years according to Taiwan’s defense minister. Close to 150 Chinese air force jets, including nuclear capable bombers, flew into Taiwanese air space for four straight days in early October in an unprecedented display of military aggression. October 10 is recognized by Taiwan as its National Day.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke threateningly a few days ago while vowing a “peaceful reunification” between the two countries. Taiwan views any such reunification as an act of “coercion.” China views Taiwan’s insistence on independence as the “biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland.” China has long made clear its political determination to reunite what it views as its rogue territories—Hong Kong and Taiwan—to the mainland using military force, if necessary.
The ruling government of China, then called the Republic of China, fled to the island of Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war against the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. It eventually declared independence from the Communist People’s Republic of China, established a modern democratic state of 23 million, and officially calls itself the Republic of China.
Both sides claim to be the true China. Few nations in the world officially recognize Taiwan for fear of breaking relations with Beijing. It is China’s way of isolating Taiwan from the world diplomatically. The US only officially recognizes one Chinese government—Beijing—but maintains informal relations with Taiwan, which includes military support. However, many consider the recent domestic and international issues of the US as signs of its increasing weakness which China is taking advantage of.
During Sunday’s National Day celebrations in Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen defiantly declared that Taiwan will not “bow to pressure” and warned that the nation will be ready to defend itself. Tsai was re-elected last year by a landslide, specifically for her pro-independence stance. Beijing has refused to enter into talks with her, dismissing her as a separatist who refuses to recognize a future where Taiwan becomes part of China. Analysts believe that China’s acts of aggression are meant to be a warning to President Tsai not to make a formal declaration of independence, which Beijing is convinced she is moving towards. Others foresee preparations for a full-scale invasion by China by 2025.
Every Nation has churches in Taipei and Kaohsiung. According to Filipino missionary Jason Yu, who serves as our senior pastor in Kaohsiung, “We’ve been serving in Taiwan for almost 8 years now . . . and we’ve never encountered or experienced this much tension before. We are going through a series entitled King and Kingdoms. Through this, we want to remind everyone that even though there are kings and kingdoms around us, there’s only One True King of kings and Lord of lords who is sovereign over all His creation and sovereign over all the nations, and His plans and purposes will prevail.”
Pastor Noel, who has a heart for the nation of Taiwan, asks us to “Pray for God’s intervention for peace and bilateral agreement between the two countries. Pray also that Taiwan will soon ease out its travel policy so that God’s work through missions can continue.”
Pastor Bruce Ho, who serves as our senior pastor in Taipei, said, “The current unpredictable tensions in the China-Taiwan situation are a reminder to us that we must ‘make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.’ This is true for all of us, but situations like this make us more aware of that truth. More importantly, we remember that ‘there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God,’ so whatever happens, God is in control and we have a crucial assignment to preach the gospel and make disciples. We covet your zealous prayers that we may do so boldly and effectively!”
Let us stand in the gap for Taiwan at this time.
- Let us pray for peace to prevail between China and Taiwan. Ask God to remove government and military leaders on both sides who are intentionally pushing this crisis into a war.
- Continue to pray for revival to spread throughout both nations and reach government and military establishments. Declare the promise of Isaiah 2:4 over them, where swords will be beaten into plowshares and nations will unlearn war.
- Intercede for our senior pastors, Bruce Ho in Taipei and Jason Yu in Kaohsiung. Pray that they may have the wisdom to lead our Taiwanese congregations to stand in the gap for their nation.
Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.
We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.
To learn more about the situation between China and Taiwan, you can check the news and resources in the links below.
- Inquirer article on President Xi Jinping’s speech wowing reunification with Taiwan
- Inquirer article on President Tsai Ing-wen’s speech for Taiwan’s National Day, declaring that Taiwan won’t be forced to bow down to China
- BBC article on the ‘One China’ policy
- BBC article exploring the context behind the China-Taiwan divide