Articles

‘War means Taiwan independence’?

I was a bit startled last week when Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) suggested that the United States could extend official recognition to an independent Taiwan if China were to launch an invasion. While I think Speaker You is correct, I am not sure it is a helpful point of view. Naturally, there are contingency plans in Washington on diplomatic actions that could deter Chinese military action, but they contemplate the continuity of a democratic Taiwanese government that could survive offshore in exile if part or all of Taiwan is occupied by communist Chinese forces. China’s threat that “Taiwan independence means war” must, as Speaker You clearly argues, be confronted with the consensus of the international community that “War means Taiwan Independence.” He also correctly understands that creating such an international consensus relies on the diplomatic leadership of the United States. What Speaker You is not arguing is: “Hey, guys! I have an easy way to achieve independence.”

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