The new wave of nationalistic fervor in China has further complicated cross-Strait relations. Ordinary Chinese are less willing to condone a Taiwan completely separated from the mainland. Yet China's belief that it has a rightful claim over Taiwan does not seem to accord with the feelings of a rising number of Taiwanese who regard their separateness from the mainland as a unique feature that deserves safeguarding. Although the potential for conflict is there, the situation is not all gloomy. The Beijing leadership has so far been able to keep the new nationalism in check by adopting a calibrated response to perceived independence moves by Taiwan. While more conciliatory in its gestures towards Taiwan, China can be firm if the need arises. In addition, the US appears to be tilting in favor of China in terms of its cross-Strait policy. Depending on the situation, the Chinese leadership has the political initiative to break the deadlock at some point in the future.