China is getting tough with Taiwan. How will that affect U.S. policy?

The U.S. posture of “strategic ambiguity” has helped keep the peace for decades

The Washington Post
dATE: Oct. 2, 2020
By: Steven M. Goldstein

A Taiwan air force personnel walks past jets inside a hangar during a visit by President Tsai Ing-wen to a military base in Penghu, Taiwan, on Sept. 22. (Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

China dispatched more than 30 warplanes on combat drills in the Taiwan Strait last month, reportedly to show its displeasure at the news that the Trump administration is prepared to sell long-range missiles to Taiwan’s military. With China-Taiwan tensions on the rise, where does that leave the United States?

When Chinese officials in 1995 asked how the United States would react to a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, Assistant Defense Secretary Joseph Nye replied, “We don’t know and you don’t know; it would depend on the circumstances.”

Today, this posture suggesting “strategic ambiguity” in regard to American intervention to defend Taiwan is an approach many members of Congress and foreign policy specialists might call inappropriate, or even dangerous. Instead, they argue, U.S. foreign policy should include unequivocal support for Taiwan, as expressed in one recently proposed piece of legislation — “The Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act.”    [FULL  STORY]

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