Written by David Pendery. This work will examine the possibility of a new announcement by the United States, which on the surface may appear to be an agreement between the United States and China but which is not, in fact, that. In a word, it is not a formal treaty or concord. It would instead express a US view on the reality of international relations. I will call it a “Fourth Communiqué,” and like the well-known first three communiqués, it would in large measure deal with relations between the US, Taiwan, and China, with other essential considerations.
Written by Corey Lee Bell. In part one of this series, I discussed how important it is for the US to move quickly to convince China that its withdrawal from Afghanistan is not symptomatic of a retreat towards isolationism but rather part of a strategy of redirecting American resources to the Indo-Pacific and the defence of Taiwan in particular. However, with the Biden administration likely to stop short of formally declaring ‘strategic clarity’ (i.e., that it will definitely fight China if it invaded or embargoed Taiwan), and with China thus far having a low estimation of America’s resolve and capacity to defend the island, I suggested demonstrating this through actions that show that America is not only strengthening its regional presence, but also its preparedness and combat readiness.
Written by Corey Lee Bell. There is little doubt that America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a propaganda boon for Beijing. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in Chinese state media’s efforts to draw parallels between Afghanistan’s abandonment and the potential fate of Taiwan. Already, Chinese press, and pro-China media and political allies in Taiwan, are telling the Taiwanese people that America cannot be relied upon, with one article, from China’s state-mouthpiece Global Times, warning that if “total war” broke out in the Taiwan Strait, “America will not rush to the rescue.”
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. The scenes from the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan are heart-wrenching. One would have hoped that the withdrawal by the United States and its Allies could have been planned such that it would be taking place in a more orderly fashion. Many an analysis will be written on this topic (…) A brief scan of the internet shows that Beijing’s propaganda machine is already hard at work to capitalize on the moment by publishing several articles implying that Taiwan could befall the same fate.
Written by Scott L. Kastner. relationship has become dramatically more antagonistic since 2016. Since taking office in that year, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has been less willing to accommodate the PRC on core sovereignty issues than was her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou. Beijing, in turn, has steadily increased coercive pressure on the island. Most notably, PRC military activities near Taiwan have increased sharply over the past few years.
Written by Christine Penninga-Lin. For years Taiwan and its people live in a bizarre universe; the situation of the Taiwan strait and the Chinese escalation of military threat on Taiwan have made it a regular on the potential conflict outbreak point chart. But anyone who’s visited Taiwan in the recent two decades would hardly conclude their stay in Taiwan as unsafe or that the country is socially unstable.
Written by Dean P. Chen. In response to Beijing’s escalating coercive campaigns and military harassments of Taiwan, the Biden administration has primarily followed the Trump government’s pro-Taiwan stance. The U.S. State Department, in a statement on January 23, 2021, calling out China to “cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan,” reaffirmed that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid.”
Written by Jacques deLisle. The Economist recently declared Taiwan “the most dangerous place on earth.” Indeed, it seems that although there have been the crises in the 1950s (when China’s military targeted offshore islands controlled by Taiwan), and also the missile crisis of the mid-1990s—when Beijing sought to deter Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui and Taiwanese voters from “pro-independence” moves—Taiwan again has become a focal point of potential conflict between the United States and China. The circumstances and, therefore, the dangers, however, are different than they were a quarter-century ago or during the early days of the Cold War.
Written by T.Y. Wang. Taiwan Strait has been widely viewed as a dangerous flashpoint for conflict. The popular Economist magazine recently characterised it as “the most dangerous place on earth” that could lead to a direct military conflict between the United States and China. During the past several decades, Washington’s policy of strategic ambiguity has worked remarkably well for maintaining peace and stability between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. A debate is underway if Washington should change its long-standing ambiguous approach by making a more explicit commitment to Taiwan security. Why is there a call for clarity? What is the logic behind Washington’s policy of strategic ambiguity? And is there a need for adjustment?
Written by Douglas Paal. In the early 1970s, I studied in Tokyo during the first OPEC-generated energy crisis. Against all prevailing common anxiety about the long-term shortage of energy, The Economist published a cover story entitled “The Coming Oil Glut,” which correctly predicted that demand would induce increased supply. It did. I was duly impressed.
Written by Shih Yueh Yang. Is Taiwan the Most Dangerous Place on Earth? Not yet, as the Economist has put it. Although the tension between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has grown, not a single shot has ever been fired. In contrast, thousands of rockets have already exploded over Gaza/Israel border, and hundreds of people have died. Taiwan still enjoys peace and happiness either in relative or absolute terms.
Written by Corey Lee Bell and Harley Centner. Recent months have witnessed growing consternation among Western officials that a conflict across the Taiwan Strait is not only likely but relatively imminent. In early March, Admiral Philip Davidson, the Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), told a U.S. Senate armed services committee meeting that “the threat [of China taking Taiwan] is manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years.” Backing this up, his successor, U.S. Admiral John Aquilino, testified at his nomination hearing in late March that “this problem is much closer to us than most think.”