An article in the current issue of the influential Foreign Affairs magazine argues that to avoid military competition between the US and a rising China, Washington should consider making concessions to Beijing, including the possibility of backing away from its commitment to Taiwan.
In the article, titled “Will China’s Rise Lead to War? Why Realism Does Not Mean Pessimism,” Charles Glaser, a professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, argues that the rise of China will be “the most important international relations story of the twenty-first century.”
Glaser’s article makes the case for a “nuanced version of realism” that would avoid unnecessary competition — and perhaps armed conflict — between the US and China.
While the prospects of avoiding “intense military competition and war” between the US and China may be od, China’s rise will nevertheless require some changes in US policy, he argues. Such adjustments, he claims, should include backing away from security commitments to Taiwan.
“A crisis over Taiwan could fairly easily escalate to nuclear war,” Glaser writes, adding that regardless of the origin of conflict, the US would “find itself under pressure to protect Taiwan against any sort of attack.”
While such risks have been around for decades, improvements in China’s military capabilities could make Beijing more likely to escalate in a Taiwan crisis. Rather than risk sparking an arms race with China, Glaser calls for modifications in US policy, changes that he admits would be “disagreeable” — particularly regarding Taiwan.
By abandoning its commitments to Taiwan, the US would “remove the most obvious and contentious flash point between the United States and China and smooth the way for better relations ... in the decades to come,” he writes.
Pre-empting critics that such a move, rather than appease Beijing, would whet its appetite and undermine US credibility as a defender of its allies, Glaser said “the critics are wrong ... because territorial concessions are not always bound to fail.”
“Not all adversaries are Hitler, and when they are not, accommodation can be an effective policy tool,” he writes, adding that although Beijing has disagreements with several neighbors, there is little reason to believe that it has, or will develop, “grand territorial ambitions in the region or beyond.”
Concluding his section on Taiwan, Glaser argues that “concessions on Taiwan would thus risk encouraging China to pursue more demanding policies on those issues for which the status quo is currently disputed, including the status of the offshore islands and maritime borders in the East China and South China seas.”
Should the US adopt such a policy, Glaser writes, it should do so gradually and in a manner that builds upon what he perceives as improved relations between Taipei and Beijing. While ending its security commitments to Taiwan, the US should make sure it retains its legitimacy with regional allies by implementing “countervailing measures,” including reinforcing forward-deployment of troops and reaffirming alliance commitments.
White-label cellphones manufactured in a Chinese factory are believed to contain Trojan software that enables fraudsters to set up mobile game accounts using the owners’ phone numbers, police said on Saturday, with nearly 100 older people affected so far. After receiving a number of complaints from local branches over the past few months, the National Police Agency launched an investigation into the mobile game points-for-cash scam. The fraudsters would pose as women online to persuade people to buy game point cards at supermarkets and load the points into accounts created with the cellphone users’ phone numbers before requesting cash refunds from the
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered three more suspects in a feces attack on a Taipei restaurant to be held incommunicado over concerns that they might tamper with evidence, flee or renew their alleged attacks. The three suspects — two brothers surnamed Lee (李) and another man identified as Chiang (江) — were arrested on charges of vandalism, public insult, extortion and injury after the court held a detention hearing earlier in the day, court spokesperson Huang Pei-chen (黃珮禎) said. The court in a statement said that the three men said they had no rancor against anyone in the restaurant and that
DISCUSSION: The KMT chairman said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday and its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the party The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hopes to highlight the “important connection” between the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan with its celebration of Retrocession Day on Sunday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. In response to media queries in Taichung, Chiang said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday, and that its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the KMT over its party line. The KMT values ROC holidays, such as Double Ten National Day and Retrocession Day, he said, adding that since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, observation of the holidays has “weakened.” The