EP 583 What Is America’s Policy Toward Taiwan?



The White House insisted that President Biden did not establish a new policy when he bluntly answered “yes” to the question, “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?”  To this point our policy has gone under the heading of “strategic ambiguity”.  What does that mean?  Well, it depends on your interpretation of the ambiguity based on two agreements that have governed our relationship with China and Taiwan for the last 43 years.  One is the One China policy which is Washington’s diplomatic recognition of Beijing as the sole legal government of China.  The second is the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 which is the basis for our continuing ties to Taiwan as a self-governing entity.  The act does not require American to send our troops to the island’s defense in the event of an attack.  Under that agreement, we do provide Taiwan with the weapons it needs to defend itself. Professor Charles Glaser, a professor of political science and international relations at George Washington University, joins us to discuss the subtleties and complexities of “strategic ambiguity” and”strategic clarity” and whether he believes it makes sense for the United States to commit to defending Taiwan. While the U.S. and China have a perplexing set of relationships if there is a flashpoint that might bring us into direct conflict it is likely over Taiwan.