Magazine March 22, 2021, Issue

Deter Beijing from Attacking Taiwan

A map showing the waters surrounding the Matsu Islands and mainland Chinese coast, January 28, 2021 (Ann Wang/Reuters)
Policies to keep great-power competition from becoming great-power conflict

Over several decades, the People’s Republic of China has been coercing and intimidating Taiwan in an attempt to force “unification” of the de facto independent democratic island with the mainland. The U.S. has responded through mostly diplomatic means, working to help Taiwan avoid international isolation. But now the risk of a Sino–American military conflict over Taiwan is growing. Chinese Communist Party general-secretary Xi Jinping has stepped up his muscular rhetoric about “recovery” of what he views as lost Chinese territory, and his military is more ready than ever to act forcefully if called upon. But through coercive diplomacy the U.S.

This article appears as “Deter Beijing, Protect Taiwan” in the March 22, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Dan BlumenthalMr. Blumenthal is the director of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State.

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