Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time to end the Ambiguity?

Joseph Bosco, China-Taiwan specialist, writes in the LATimes, arguing that it is time to end the US ambiguity on defending Taiwan, because it encourages China to attack:
Neither Beijing nor Washington wants war, but as long as China believes the U.S. will ultimately abandon democratic Taiwan to avoid it, the danger of conflict increases.

It is time for U.S. clarity on Taiwan; strategic ambiguity has run its course.

Washington should declare that we would defend democratic Taiwan against any Chinese attack or coercion, and that we also welcome Taiwan's participation in international organizations (starting by inviting President Ma Ying-jeou to Honolulu for the December meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group).

In return, Taiwan must forgo formal independence for now, even though that result is ultimately consistent with American values.

In exchange for China's renouncing force, Washington should also pledge not to recognize formal Taiwan statehood and discourage others from doing so, while also insisting that China's use of force would trigger instant recognition.
Bosco's ultimate outcome is a formalized status quo guaranteed by US force of arms. We already say that we welcome Taiwan's participation in international organizations, so no particular gain there. The problem is that Bosco's American foreign policy community all support the current ECFA/financial integration sellout, on the assumption that (1) everyone will make big bucks and (2) there will be peace. Perhaps the US ought to examine how getting more integrated with China has not led to more peaceful relations between Beijing and Washington.....

PIC: Cool double rainbow over Chiayi last week.
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