Taiwan’s future security hinges on developing a new maritime strategy of active diplomacy and asymmetric defense. Although President Ma Ying-jeou has initiated creative peace proposals amid rising maritime tensions in Asia, Taiwan’s voice has largely been ignored. Meanwhile, China’s increasing military modernization and assertiveness in the East and South China Seas is widening an already unfavorable military balance of power across the Taiwan Strait.
President Ma deserves greater recognition for easing cross-Strait tensions. The normalization of ties with the Mainland has been pursued through more than a score of agreements as well as implementation of the so-called “three links” of direct air, sea and postal services. But normalization has produced unintended effects for the region. In particular, the relatively low profile of the cross-Strait issue in recent years has enabled China to focus on consolidating power in its near seas.
Common sense calls for effective confidence-building measures to dampen nationalist zeal and reduce the escalatory potential of incidents at sea. Unfortunately, China has been singularly reluctant to adopt mutually agreeable and enforceable rules for good order at sea. Instead, it has deployed risky tactics to incrementally enhance its influence over its near seas.
More from CNAS
VideoWhat does the US want from China? What is its endgame?
Daniel Kliman appears on a BBC News feature to discuss the state of U.S. policy toward China. Listen to the full conversation and more:...
By Daniel Kliman
Congressional TestimonyHow Corporations and Big Tech Leave Our Data Exposed to Criminals, China, and Other Bad Actors
I. Key Observations and Assessments1 Chairman Hawley, Ranking Member Whitehouse, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a topic of...
By Kara Frederick
CommentaryHow American Progressives Think About Asian Security
Democrats running for the 2020 U.S. presidential nomination implicitly accept – or at least have not rejected – the premise that the United States’ fate is linked to that of t...
By Van Jackson
ReportsImbalance of Power
In a new report, experts Daniel Kliman, Iskander Rehman, Kristine Lee, and Joshua Fitt evaluate trend lines in the India-China military equation and assess Delhi’s current mil...
By Daniel Kliman, Iskander Rehman, Kristine Lee & Joshua Fitt