December 12, 2016

Trump ups US ante on Taiwan, but China has leverage too

Featuring Dr. Patrick M. Cronin

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Matthew Pennington

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump sounds ready to use U.S. policy toward Taiwan as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from China, but both of the world powers could play at that game.

China's rising economic and military clout means its communist leadership has leverage over Washington too. Beijing could erect more obstacles for U.S. companies working in China. It could ramp up tensions in the seas of East Asia. And if differences spike over Taiwan, the Trump administration could face tough choices on whether to send U.S. forces to defend the island that China regards as part of its territory.

There's been a delicate diplomatic balance since 1979 when the U.S. shifted formal recognition to China from Taiwan. Under the so-called "one China" policy, Washington acknowledges China's claim to Taiwan but retains close informal ties and supplies the self-governing island with weapons. Trump said Sunday that he didn't feel "bound by a one-China policy," drawing Chinese condemnation.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

  • Dr. Patrick M. Cronin

    Senior Advisor and Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Patrick M. Cronin is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior ...