The China Threat Cannot Be Ignored

July 30, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Asia Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: ChinaTaiwanNational SecurityWarMilitary

The China Threat Cannot Be Ignored

Lyle Goldstein does not advocate Beijing taking Taiwan over, but the policies that he promotes would lead to that result.

“Taiwan is emphatically not a ‘core interest’ of the U.S. and Chinese leaders are all too aware of that glaring truth,” Goldstein writes, concluding his National Interest piece. He would be right if he wrote that American policymakers have yet to make it clear that Taiwan is a core interest.

Yet it is, in reality, core to the United States, and not only because it anchors America’s western perimeter. It is core these days because Beijing has been continually attacking not only U.S. democratic institutions but also the concept of representative governance itself. China’s rulers, unfortunately, have launched an assault on everything not both communist and Chinese.

Goldstein surely does not advocate Beijing taking Taiwan over, but the policies he promotes would surely lead to that result. He is wrong on most assumptions he makes, and so his conclusion, that Taiwan is not important, is therefore fundamentally wrong. As the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York notes, the United States and Taiwan share values, making it “even more crucial for us to work together to defend our values and ensure peace and stability of the region.”

And the peace and stability of the world. Not since the early 1950s—and maybe not even then—has the safety and security of Taiwan been so critical to the United States and to the international system.

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China . Follow him on Twitter @GordonGChang.

Image: Paramilitary policemen stand guard on Beijing's Tiananmen Square November 6, 2012 as security is tightened around the square and the adjoining Great Hall of the People. Just days before the party's all-important congress opens, China's stability-obsessed rulers are taking no chances and have combed through a list all possible threats, avian or otherwise. The goal is to ensure an image of harmony as President Hu Jintao prepares to transfer power as party leader to anointed successor Vice President Xi Jinping at the congress, which starts Thursday. REUTERS/David Gray