America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan

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One issue could lead to a disastrous war between the United States and China: Taiwan. A growing number of Taiwanese want independence for their island and regard mainland China as an alien nation. Mainland Chinese consider Taiwan a province that was stolen from China more than a century ago, and their patience about getting it back is wearing thin. Washington officially endorses a "one China" policy but also sells arms to Taiwan and maintains an implicit pledge to defend it from attack. That vague, muddled policy invites miscalculation by Taiwan or China or both. The three parties are on a collision course, and unless something dramatic changes, an armed conflict is virtually inevitable within a decade. Although there is still time to avert a calamity, time is running out. In this book, Carpenter tells the reader what the U.S. must do quickly to avoid being dragged into war.
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About the author

Ted Galen Carpenter is Senior Fellow for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. He is the author of more than 10 books, including , America's Coming War With China, and The Korea Conundrum (with Doug Bandow); and the editor of 10 more than collections.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Mar 31, 2015
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781466893016
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The passing of the Cold War is the most important development of the late 20th century, yet the United States clings tenaciously to old policies. Both the Bush administration and Democratic leaders have insisted on perpetuating a host of obsolete alliances, including NATO and the alliance with Japan, which cost American taxpayers nearly $150 billion a year. Ted Galen Carpenter, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, offers a provocative critique of that status quo strategy.
Although Washington's outdated alliances have no real adversary or credible mission, Carpenter says, they hold the potential to embroil the United States in obscure conflicts, ethnic and otherwise, that have little relevance to America's legitimate security concerns. As an alternative, he proposes "strategic independence," under which the United States would act only to defend vital interests - the republic's physical integrity, political independence, or domestic liberty.
Carpenter calls for "the foreign policy equivalent of zero-based budgeting," insisting that because of the dramatic changes in the world caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, "all alliances must be justified anew, regardless of any utility they may have had during the Cold War." He places under the microscope America's multilateral treaty obligations to defend other nations - NATO; ANZUS, which links the United States, Australia, and New Zealand; and the Rio Treaty, which provides a collective defense arrangement for the Western Hemisphere. He also examines four important bilateral security agreements - with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Pakistan. This is the book on a new foreign policy for the United States.
The relationship between Taiwan and China is a paradox. On the one hand, the two economies are becoming increasingly integrated, as Taiwanese companies have come to regard the mainland as the best place to manufacture their products and maintain global competitiveness. On the other hand, the long-running and changing political dispute between the two governments remains unresolved. Each side fears the intentions of the other and is acquiring military capabilities to deter disaster. In its pursuit of peace in the Taiwan Strait, the United States could get drawn into a war between the two rivals. Richard C. Bush, whose career has been dedicated to Taiwan-China issues, explores the conflicts between these nations and the difficulties that must be resolved. Disagreements over sovereignty and security form the core of the dispute. What would be the legal status and international role of the Taiwan government in a future unified China? Given China's growing military power, how could Taiwan feel secure? Complicating these issues are domestic politics and international competition, as well as misperceptions on both sides. Thus multiple obstacles prevent the two sides from even getting to the negotiating table, much less reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. For reasons of policy and politics, the United States is constrained from a central role. To begin with, it must provide China with some reassurance about its policy in order to secure cooperation on foreign policy issues. At the same time, it must bolster Taiwan's political confidence and military deterrence while discouraging provocative actions. The arcane nature of this dispute severely restricts the role of the United States as conflict mediator. But if there is to be any solution to this conflict, the comprehensive analysis that this book provides will be required reading for effective policy.
One of the most pressing issues for China--and the world at large--is the continuing presence of an independence-minded Taiwan off China's southern coast. Recent modernization efforts within the Chinese military and tough remarks by Chinese officials have alarmed many in Washington, and caused others to question America's commitments in the region.

Copper details events of recent decades to give the reader a complete picture of potential flash points concerning Taiwan. An expert who has studied the region for more than thirty years, he saw firsthand the turmoil that followed the recent Taiwanese elections. Drawing upon his interdisciplinary research on the political, economic, and military issues surrounding the U.S.-Taiwan-China triangle, he assesses the various aspects of this complex relationship and comments on what may come from playing with fire.

Daily headlines and news stories remark upon the growing economic might of China. Analysts note that this increasing economic influence will undoubtedly lead to increasing political engagement on a global level. It is clear that the United States can no longer ignore what Napoleon called the sleeping giant.

One of the most pressing issues for China--and the world at large--is the continuing presence of an independence-minded Taiwan off China's southern coast. Recent modernization efforts within the Chinese military and tough remarks by Chinese officials have alarmed many in Washington, and caused others to question America's commitments in the region.

Copper details events of recent decades to give the reader a complete picture of potential flash points concerning Taiwan. An expert who has studied the region for more than thirty years, he saw firsthand the turmoil that followed the recent Taiwanese elections. Drawing upon his interdisciplinary research on the political, economic, and military issues surrounding the U.S.-Taiwan-China triangle, he assesses the various aspects of this complex relationship and comments on what may come from playing with fire.

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