Dr. T.Y. Wang, university professor and chair of the Department of Politics and Government, published “Strategic Ambiguity or Strategic Clarity? US Policy towards the Taiwan Issue” in Taiwan Insight.
The Taiwan Strait has been widely viewed as a dangerous flash point for conflict that could lead to a direct military conflict between the United States and China. During the past several decades, Washington’s policy of strategic ambiguity has worked remarkably well for maintaining the peace and stability between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Now, a debate is underway if Washington should change its long-standing ambiguous approach by making a clearer commitment to Taiwan security.
The call for clarity is due to the fact that China is rising and has become increasingly aggressive in its behavior. After Chinese leaders negated their promises of a “high-degree of autonomy” to the people of Hong Kong under the “one country, two systems” plan, it is believed that Taiwan is their next target.
As a vibrant democracy, Taiwan is important to America’s global leadership and strategic interests in the region. Beijing’s revisionist behavior therefore needs a non-ambiguous and robust response. The Biden administration’s policy should move to the clarity end of the spectrum, making it evident that the U.S. is committed to its long-standing pledge that cross-Strait disputes must be resolved peacefully.