Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Stand by Taiwan

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Stand by Taiwan

Article excerpt

EVERY YEAR CHINA PUBLICLY grumbles about the United States' support of Taiwan, and every year Washington pretends not to hear. Some U.S. foreign-policy specialists are sick of this dynamic, arguing, according to Georgetown University historian Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and analyst Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, that Taiwan is a "strategic liability, an expensive diversion and ... an obstacle to more important U.S.-China relations." Don't take the bait, say Tucker and Glaser. If anything, the United States should increase its support of the small democratic island.

Even if the United States did bow to Chinas wishes and pull the plug on its Taiwan support, there is no guarantee that relations between the rival superpowers would get any smoother, the authors argue. China would continue to oppose U.S. interests on nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea. And Beijing would be more likely to view U.S. capitulation on Taiwan as a cowering dodge than a proffered olive branch. Walking away from Taiwan could sap the United States' negotiating power throughout the region, moreover, and possibly send friends in the area, such as Japan and South Korea, into Chinas arms. …

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