Taiwan, China, and the Threat of War

A small island one hundred miles off the coast of China could be the flashpoint that determines the future of great-power competition. Experts increasingly warn that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be globally catastrophic, regardless of its success or if the United States intervenes. How concerned should Americans be?

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • David Sacks
    Fellow for Asia Studies
  • James Lin
    Assistant Professor at the University of Washington

Show Notes

China has long claimed Taiwan as its own, and U.S. policy toward the issue is strategically ambiguous. If an increasingly assertive China invades the island, where most Taiwanese people vehemently oppose unification, the United States and the world will suffer massive economic and geopolitical consequences. Global economic loss would likely reach trillions of dollars, and if the United States gets involved in the conflict, an invasion could also trigger the first great-power war in a century. But invasion is not a given, and U.S. officials can still adapt their policies to deter China from altering the status quo.

 

 

From CFR

 

Lindsay Maizland, “Why China-Taiwan Relations Are So Tense

 

Richard Nixon, “Asia After Viet Nam,” Foreign Affairs, 1967

 

U.S.-Taiwan Relations in a New Era: Responding to a More Assertive China, 2023

 

 

From Our Guests

 

David Sacks, “Enhancing U.S.-Japan Coordination for a Taiwan Conflict,” CFR.org

 

David Sacks, “Why Is Taiwan Important to the United States?,” CFR.org

 

James Lin, “Taiwan Shouldn’t Be Used as a Geopolitical Pawn,” Jacobin

 

 

Read More

 

Chong Ja Ian, “The Many ‘One Chinas’: Multiple Approaches to Taiwan and China,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

 

Hal Brands, “Economic Chaos of a Taiwan War Would Go Well Past Semiconductors,” Bloomberg

 

Reva Goujon, Agatha Kratz, and Charlie Vest, “The Global Economic Disruptions from a Taiwan Conflict,” Rhodium Group

 

Shelley Rigger, Lev Nachman, Chit Wai John Mok, and Nathan Kar Ming Chan, “Why Is Unification so Unpopular in Taiwan? It’s the PRC Political System, Not Just Culture,” Brookings Institution

 

 

Watch and Listen

 

China’s Threat to Taiwan, With Oriana Skylar Mastro,” The President’s Inbox

 

Richard C. Bush, Ryan Hass, and David Dollar, “How Serious Is the Risk of War Over Taiwan?,” Dollar & Sense

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