By: Jianli Yang & Evan Osborne – Aug 09, 2022

The visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, has changed the strategic calculus in the Taiwan Straits. The Chinese government has reacted in public with rage, and its past behavior indicates that its future behavior may well be very dangerous. Will the communist party leadership be angry enough to invade the island? We argue that the chances of that outcome are sufficiently high that the US government should reconsider its long-standing policy of strategic ambiguity, in favor of much more concrete statements. in conjunction with its allies in the region, to defend the democratic state if it is attacked.

Analysts often speak of such things in all-or-nothing terms: policy X will guarantee outcome Y. But of course our world, including our geopolitical world, is defined by uncertainty. Speaker Pelosi’s trip has brought Taiwan’s democratic nature, and the threat it faces from the totalitarian government across the straits, greater attention in the U.S. and indeed the world. Here we consider whether it should cause the US government and other democracies, assuming they both wish to deter an attack and are willing to wage war on another rampaging dictatorial power to defend the global liberal order, and for the US in particular to change its long-standing policy of strategic ambiguity — refusing to… [Continue Reading]