The Obama administration currently adopts a grand strategy tending toward deep engagement, and security and economy cooperation between Taiwan and the US is expected to deepen when both are facing an assertive China that seeks more resources to sustain its economic growth.
However, Taiwan’s economy has become more dependent on China in recent years. The increasingly close financial ties and discrepancy of military power across the Taiwan Strait constitutes an unavoidable challenge to the US’ grand strategy.
Since September last year, Japan nationalized the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan –– with intimidating rhetoric.
China has dispatched ships and airplanes to the disputed waters almost daily, precipitating Japan to strengthen its armed forces and adopt an alerted posture to protect its “sovereignty.”
The escalating tensions of this territorial dispute are increasing the risk of armed conflict between Japan and China, and will likely end up with the US involved.
Although it is hard to imagine that the US will go to war with China , the world may soon see the US’ deep engagement strategy put to the test.
Tu Ho-ting is a Taiwan-based journalist and analyst.