On January 16, the people of Taiwan elected a new president, setting the stage for the third peaceful transfer of power between parties in the island’s history. That achievement would seem routine by now, were it not for the vastly different political situation on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing imposes a very powerful reality. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has never sworn off the use of military power to bring Taiwan under its undisputed sovereignty and authoritarian system. Furthermore, as most recently attested in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on the Chinese military, “the focus and primary driver of China’s [massive and continuing] military investment” remains “prepar[ation] for potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait.”
- Walter Lohman, director of The Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center
This piece originally appeared in War on the Rocks and can be read in its entirety at http://warontherocks.com/2016/01/what-the-united-states-owes-to-taiwan-and-its-interests-in-asia/