Thursday, March 20, 2008


The New York Times reports that a number of factors, including the heavy cracktown on Tebetian dissent by the Chinese government, have made upcoming elections in Taiwan unexpectedly close. The Nationalist party, which still favors some type of reunification with the mainland, was on course to win by a substantial margin, but the recent actions of the Chinese government seem to have given the voters some pause. Taiwan strikes me as an area in which the United States should be more heavily engaged. Our policy of strategic ambiguity in the China-Taiwan dispute has kept things relatively quiet over the last several decades, but as China's power grows along with Taiwanese sentiment for independence, it would behoove the United States to facilitate negotiations for some kind of permanent status agreement between the two countries (or "political entities" if you prefer) before we find the issue forced, and we are caught between the options of abandoning an ally and risking major war.

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