Introduction to Dangerous Decade: Taiwan's security and crisis management

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    Abstract

    ‘China’s growing assertiveness, America’s declining deterrent capability, and Taiwan’s growing jumpiness, not least as it watches Hong Kong, have all made a stumble into catastrophic conflict across the Taiwan Strait more likely than for decades. Brendan Taylor credibly argues this is only avoidable - however unattractive “muddling through” might be to purists on all sides - by urgently building more robust crisis-management mechanisms. A sober and compelling analysis which policymakers will ignore at their peril.’ Gareth Evans, Former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group ‘The cross-Strait balance of power is shifting, raising the risk of inadvertent and catastrophic great-power conflict. Brendan Taylor’s identification of this window of vulnerability and proposals for crisis-management advance our understanding of one of the most vexing national security problems of the next decade.’ Dr Mira Rapp-Hooper, Council on Foreign Relations ‘This is certainly a timely book addressing Taiwan’s forthcoming security challenges. Brendan Taylor provides an insightful and thought-provoking analysis regarding the threats Taiwan is facing and at the same time offers valuable suggestions in terms of how to manage this imminent crisis. This is worth reading by all interests.’ Andrew N.D. Yang, Former Minister of National Defense, Republic of China, Taiwan Taiwan’s position looks increasingly precarious, and tensions threaten to grow into a major strategic crisis. Chinese President Xi Jinping has made reunification with Taiwan a central pillar of his vision for China, and has ramped up diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. Its inhabitants are increasingly estranged from the mainland, and Tsai Ing-wen’s administration refuses to conduct relations with China on Beijing’s terms. Taiwan could take on renewed strategic significance amid the backdrop of the deepening rivalry between China and the United States, and find itself at the centre of a Cold War-style superpower confrontation. While Washington’s support and military power has historically guaranteed Taiwan’s security, this is no longer a certainty. This Adelphi book argues that China’s military modernisation has changed the cross-strait military balance, and the ability of the US to prevail in a conflict over Taiwan may have evaporated by 2030. As China feels increasingly empowered to retake Taiwan, there is significant potential for escalation, particularly given the ambiguity of Beijing’s ‘red lines’ on Taiwan. Neither Beijing, Taipei nor Washington want such a conflict, but each is challenging the uneasy status quo. Taylor calls for the introduction of a narrower set of formal crisis-management mechanisms designed to navigate a major Taiwan crisis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-14
    JournalAdelphi Series
    Volume57
    Issue number470-471
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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