March 19, 2015
Subject: What should US policy towards military assistance to Taiwan be?
Historical Background: Taiwan, otherwise known as the Republic of China (ROC), has a complicated political status on the world stage. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) lays territorial claims to Taiwan and most countries recognize China as the mainland as Taiwan as an autonomous region within it. However, Taiwan sees itself independent as the true government of China, but only a couple dozen countries recognize it as sovereign government and by technical definition of what constitutes as a sovereign state under the Montevideo Convention of 1933, Taiwan fits the criteria.1 Though before 1971, both countries laid …show more content…
One of the US’s interests in East Asia is to guard against Chinese expansion in East Asia and trying to contain its influence. With Taiwan and China moving closer after Taiwan’s 2008 election, the US has grounds to fear that China’s influence on Taiwan may be growing, especially since Taiwan’s defense spending has decreased during Ma’s administration.7 If this is the case, the US will lose one of its strongest pieces in balancing out China’s power and also deterring Chinese influence.8 However, if Taiwan willingly decides to join the PRC, American interests would still be threatened since Taiwan would no longer exist as a separate entity to balance out Chinese hegemony in East Asia and a reassessment of US weapons sales policy would have to be made under that circumstance. 9
Alternative Courses of Action:
1) The US Actively Ending or Limiting Weapons Sales to Taiwan:
One alternative course of action is for the US to stop weapons sales altogether, or to limit them. In recent US assessments, officials concluded that Taiwan’s ability to defend itself from the PRC was extremely limited, thus requiring more military technology from the