For more than 70 years, China and Taiwan have avoided coming to blows, but recently there have been disturbing signals that Beijing is reconsidering its peaceful approach and contemplating armed unification.
Although a Chinese invasion of Taiwan may not be imminent, for the first time in three decades, it is time to take seriously the possibility that China could soon use force to end its almost century-long civil war.
Under what circumstances would Chinese leaders initiate a conflict over Taiwan? What actions or developments could deter a decision by Chinese leaders to initiate conflict? How is deterrence across the Taiwan Strait different from that in Western Europe during the Cold War?
These are some of the questions the Deterrence and Defense Across the Taiwan Strait project seeks to answer. Unlike current debates on whether the competition between the United States and China resembles that between Washington and Moscow during the Cold War, this line of research explains why the comparison is problematic and counterproductive and why it is more difficult to deter and defeat Chinese regional aggression than it was to counter Soviet aggression.
By analyzing the political and military dynamics underpinning cross-strait deterrence, this project offers recommendations for U.S. policy and strategy.
CNN's GPS with Fareed Zakaria
National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
Oriana Skylar Mastro on KCRW's PressPlay Podcast
March 2, 2022
What the U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan Means for Taiwan
New York Times, September 2021
Strait of Emergency? Debating Beijing’s Threat to Taiwan
Foreign Affairs, August 2021
The Taiwan Temptation
Foreign Affairs, June 2021
The Precarious State of Cross-Strait Deterrence
Statement before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, February 2021
Biden Will Speak Softer but Act Stronger on Taiwan
Foreign Policy, November 2020
Putin's War on Ukraine Shows Xi the Dangers of Attacking Taiwan
Bloomberg Politics, March 7, 2022
Ukraine Conflict Makes Taiwan Nervous – But the Risk to China Could Be Too Great
The Telegraph, March 7, 2022
US Focus on Ukraine Stokes Worries About Joe Biden’s Commitment to Taiwan
Financial Times, February 28, 2022
China, Eying Taiwan, Gets Lesson From Ukraine’s Stiff Resistance
Wall Stree Journal, March 2, 2022
US Should Prioritize Taiwan Over Ukraine
Taiwan News, February 15, 2022
Taiwan Can't Wait
Foreign Affairs, February 1, 2022
A Stronger China Tests America's 'Strategic Ambiguity' on Taiwan
NPR All Things Considered, November 30, 2021
America's Future in Taiwan
WBUR On Point, November 10, 2021
Would the US come to Taiwan's Defense?
CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS, October 24, 2021
‘Starting a Fire’: US and China Enter Dangerous Territory Over Taiwan
The New York Times, October 9, 2021
Tensions Flare as Chinese flights Near Taiwan Intensify
The Seattle Times, October 7, 2021
How Powerful Is China's Navy?
BBC, The Real Story, September 2021
The Retreat from Afghanistan Has Made America's Allies Nervous. None More So Than Taiwan
Time, September 2021
Why Is China Turning Up the Heat on Taiwan? A Debate
The National Interest, July 2021
G7 Summit Reveals a Consensus Emerging on Challenging President Xi of China
The Times, June 2021
If the US Went to War with China, Who Would Win? It Depends How It Starts
Sydney Morning Herald, June 2021
Why China May Attack Taiwan
RTI Taiwan Insider, June 2021
China’s Growing Military Confidence Puts Taiwan at Risk
The Economist, May 2021
Taiwan Mobilizes Forces to Thwart Chinese Invasion
The Telegraph, April 2021
U.S. Concerns About China Put Focus on Taiwan’s Defensive Weakness
Wall Street Journal, April 2021
The Gloves Are Off When It Comes to Taiwan
Australia Financial Review, April 2021
Chinese Aircraft Carry Out Exercises, Pressure Taiwan in South China Sea Region
Radio Free Asia, February 2021
Taiwan No. 1 Flashpoint in US-China Relations
Taipei Times, February 2021
US-China-Taiwan: How Will Joe Biden Change the Balance?
South China Morning Post, November 2020
US Election: The Taiwan-Sized Challenge Facing the Next US President
BBC News, October 2020
Could China Invade Taiwan under President Xi Jinping, and Would They Win?
ABC News, October 2020
After Hong Kong: China Sets Sights on Solving 'the Taiwan Problem'
The Guardian, October 2020
An Update on Taiwan and China's Troubled Relationship
NPR’s Weekend Edition, October 2020
China and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
GB News, March 2022
Could China Invade Taiwan Like Russia Did Ukraine?
KCRW's PressPlay Podcast, March 2022
Ukraine Is a Distraction from Taiwan
Conversation Six, February 2022
US-China: Could There Be War Over Taiwan?
CNA Insider, December 2021
Will Xi invade Taiwan?
Chinese Whispers Podcast, October 2021
Navigating the Strait
Things That Go Boom podcast, September 2021
China’s Threat to Taiwan
Council on Foreign Relations President's Inbox Podcast, August 2021
Is Asia Going to War?
Asia Rising podcast, August 2021
The Taiwan Temptation and U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Conversation Six, July 2021
Taiwan and China
Beyond the Headlines, June 2021
The Possibility of Conflict Across the Taiwan Strait in the Role of the United States
Conversation Six, March 2021