OPINION: Taiwan Is No ‘Thucydides Trap’

Casting Taiwan as a casus belli is outdated and unhelpful.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/16
By: Gerrit van der Wees, Taiwan Insight

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Professor Graham Allison of Harvard University got it wrong, again! In a Nov. 9 article in the WorldPost, a partnership of the Berggruen Institute and the Washington Post, Professor Allison took the commemoration of the end of World War I as an opportunity to elaborate further on his “Thucydides Trap” theory, pitting a rising power (China) against an established power (the United States).

In the article, Professor Allison described Taiwan as a major flashpoint, because – as he wrote: “For China, Taiwan is a “core interest” – regarded as much a part of China as Alaska is to the United States. Any attempt by Taiwan to become an independent country could easily become a casus belli. In 1996, when the Taiwanese government took initial steps toward independence, China conducted extensive missile tests bracketing the island to coerce it to stop.”

The problem is that Professor Allison rather recklessly adopts the Chinese narrative on how it sees Taiwan, and fails to present the facts as they are: in its long history, Taiwan was never ever part of the PRC: it was a Japanese colony until the end of World War II, and it was then occupied by the Chinese Nationalists, the losing side of the Chinese Civil War.    [FULL  STORY]

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