A response to an article on Taiwan by Council of Foreign Relations head Richard Haass.
The News Lens
By: Joseph A. Bosco, Taiwan Insight
Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, recently published an article entitled “The looming crisis over Taiwan.” It is surprisingly unbalanced in analyzing the cause of the crisis he fears.
The article begins by describing the three U.S.-China communiques which “downgrade[d] ties with Taiwan and maintain[ed] only unofficial relations with the island.” It then refers to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), in which the U.S. stated that it would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means of grave concern to the United States,” and it laid out the approach Washington would follow to prevent that scenario. Haass describes it as follows:
“The law stated that the U.S. would support Taiwan’s self-defense and maintain the capacity to come to Taiwan’s aid. Left vague, however, was whether it actually would. Taiwan could not assume that it would; the mainland could not assume that it would not. Such ambiguity was meant to dissuade either side from unilateral acts that could trigger a crisis.”
Haass judged the communiques and TRA together as “a winning formula” for all three parties but then expressed his concern with its longevity: “The question is whether time is running out.” [FULL STORY]