Introduction The “Taiwan question” has long been considered one of the most complicated issues in global politics. For Beijing, the matter constitutes a “core interest,” with it contending “national reunification” is the “sacrosanct mission” of the Chinese people. The Taiwan issue was the source of international crises in 1954 and 1958 and, perhaps, near war in 1995/1996.1 Furthermore, the Taiwan question affects the prospects for and forms of Asia-Pacific Region (APR) integration. It also influences dynamics in the United Nations (UN), China’s relations with major states such as America and Japan and the foreign policies of otherwise obscure states around the globe.2 Since 2008, however, an issue once characterized by tension and conflict has seemingly stabilized. For example, a far-reaching cross-Strait economic agreement was inked in June 2010. Moreover, cross-Strait people-to-people ties have exploded. And much of the harsh rhetoric of past years has disappeared. Yet, as detailed below, Beijing will not abandon its threat to use force or reduce its military deployments directed against Taipei. The aforementioned facts raise a host of interesting questions for academics and practitioners who study the cross-Strait policies of Beijing and Taipei. For instance, why does Beijing care so much about Taiwan? On a related note, what drives conflict between the two sides (after all each side has peaceful options at its disposal) and serves to intensify or dampen such tensions? In regards to Beijing, some have pointed to different identities and misperceptions.3 With respect to Taipei, some have highlighted the drift to independence, the deterrent role of players such as the United States (US), or improved understanding by one or both sides of the expected utility (or lack thereof ) of particular policies.4 Yet another uncertainty is the potential for future conflict, particularly war. Some see little prospect for high-intensity clashes, while others express deep concerns.5 Finally, the persistence of the Taiwan question highlights the need for options to prevent conflict and facilitate a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue.6