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Strait Talk: Avoiding a Nuclear War between the United States and China over Taiwan
04-02-2008, 11:36 PM,
Strait Talk: Avoiding a Nuclear War between the United States and China over Taiwan
Strait Talk: Avoiding a Nuclear War between the United States and China over Taiwan<!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

Written by Dr. Monte R. Bullard
Maintained by Jasper Liao

UPDATED: March 27, 2008
Created: December 2004

<!--/fontc-->The book begins with a fictitious scenario that describes how the United States might be drawn into a nuclear war with China. Such a war is unthinkable, but not totally impossible. It could bring two mature nuclear powers into direct conflict and cause both sides to contemplate the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

To prevent a possible war between the United States and China, armed conflict between China and Taiwan must be prevented. According to the author, the best policy for all three actors (the United States, China, and Taiwan) is one that combines military, political, and economic approaches. Military policies should include the development of confidence-building measures and a reduction in military forces poised for such a conflict. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

The book examines factors that might trigger a conflict that could escalate into a nuclear confrontation. It argues that the fundamental causes of conflict, not just the various means of controlling weapons, must be considered. The book examines seven factors--history, culture, geography, law, politics, economics, and security--that influence whether China and Taiwan separate or unify. Disagreement over unification is the critical issue that could spark the use of force by China, Taiwan, and the United States. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

The principal thesis is that all seven factors must be addressed together to find practical long-term solutions. At present three general policy goals are being considered: Taiwan's independence, the unification of China and Taiwan, and maintaining the status quo. The goal is to find a political compromise between the extremes of unification and independence. The determination of which policy goal to seek makes a critical difference in the ability of China and Taiwan to realize other goals such as economic modernization and stability in the region. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

The book offers a series of recommendations. It makes the case that the best strategy for China, Taiwan, and the United States is to promote an active and explicit status quo policy for at least another 25 to 30 years. If the status quo is maintained, many of the key obstacles that exist now will dissolve and a solution will emerge without the necessity to consider using force. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->

This web book with its many links is an ideal reference tool. The large number of footnotes, lengthy bibliography, and the hyperlinks to original source documents make it easy for readers to quickly find information. The web book format allows constant updating; readers are encouraged to send comments and sources that can be used in this process. <!--fontc--><!--/fontc-->


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