Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Real risk of war with China

So says Michael O'Hanlon writing in yesterday's Financial Times (I hope this link works).

O'Hanlon says "China is serious about being willing to risk war to prevent Taiwan's secession. Second, although many in China as well as Europe cannot quite believe it, the US is just as serious about defending Taiwan". I believe the former, but I'm not quite as certain about the latter. However, I firmly believe that right now Taiwan will wage a war to the death rather than give in to Chinese threats. At the very least, the US would provide a lot of support for Taiwan in any conflict.

O'Hanlon says that for the US not to come to Taiwan's aid would undermine its position with regards to all allies around the world. He could be right, but that wouldn't necessarily mean that a large block of the American public would be keen to fight a major war over Taiwan. The pacifists and isolationists would argue that the US has little real interest in who rules Taiwan. I'm not sure that their arguments wouldn't prevail.