Virtually every day, the People’s Republic of China does something unprecedented — its coast guard briefly boarding a Taiwanese tourist boat, flying military aircraft ever closer to Taiwan or increasing harassment of Taiwanese fishing boats in the South China Sea.

“This is a problem,” says Dean Karalekas, author of “Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan: Identity and Transformation.” “Because these unprecedented actions are creating a new normal. Beijing hopes that we (the West) will sit by and watch as they take over Taiwan, just as we did when they used these same salami-slicing tactics to take over the South China Sea.”

The world began noticing more of China’s hostile actions following the visit to Taiwan by former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2023, but the strategy has been in place for some time.