‘Wishful Thinking’: US May Be Unwilling to Fight China Over Taiwan, Strategists Fear

While the US may be gearing up for a military confrontation with China, some Taiwanese strategists are worried Washington may not be willing to make it happen over a cross-strait invasion.

As tensions simmer between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a rebellious province, one prominent defense analyst and former official is afraid the United States won’t honor its informal commitments to guarding Taiwanese autonomy.

‘The Situation is a lot Grimmer’

“Given the military imbalance between Taiwan and the mainland, the absence of cross-strait dialogue and no [efficient communication] mechanism in place between the US and the mainland, I am worried about the situation because anything could happen,” Su Chi, president of the Taipei Forum think tank and former secretary general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, told the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.

“The situation today is a lot grimmer than the time when Chen Shui Bian and Ma Ying Jeou were presidents” Su said of the two administration before current Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen’s, covering the period between 2000 and 2016.

Strategic Ambiguity

The US formally abrogated its defense treaty with Taiwan in 1979, when it switched recognition of the legitimate Chinese government from Taipei to Beijing, and the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act that laid down the framework for the continued US-Taiwan relationship made no legal requirement of defending Taiwanese…

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