One of the highest national security priorities of the United States must be to help reduce tensions over the Taiwan issue. Domestic political trends in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan as well as political currents in the United States and exacerbating competing national interests to threaten the equilibrium that has been maintained for almost two decades. Taiwan is seeking greater international recognition and pursuing policies that the P.R.C perceives as "creeping independence" and views with deep emotion and hostility. This tension is unsettling to all Asian and Pacific nations, and it could erupt into war between the P.R.C. and Taiwan. Avoiding such an explosive breach of this relationship, and keeping the tensions it generates from overwhelming other U.S. vital interests in the region, is of critical importance to the United States.
This report—the result of an expert bipartisan task force including high-ranking military officers, business leaders, and foreign policy experts—considers a number of important trends that are shaping the Sino-American-Taiwan relationship, evaluates U.S. interests in this relationship, and arrives at a set of recommendations for the United States concerning how it should define its priorities and assert its interests with respect to this potentially volatile situation in the Taiwan Strait.