Taiwan - what's the chances of radical changes to status quo?

Trump looks like he’s angling to use Taiwan as a pawn in negotiations with the Chinese.
This is not a good thing even if at first I was excited about getting increased recognition from the US.

He puts Taiwan in an unstable situation that Taiwan has little control over.

Most likely he will fold in any negotiation with the Chinese government using Taiwan as the dead weight to release if he was to get some face saving concession from a true conflict situation with China. Both US and China do not truly want nor will they benefit from a military conflict , China wants to save face politically and the US wants to extract economic concessions.

I don’t see any convictions from Trump in terms of protecting our democracy or freedom, in fact we see the opposite from his statements.

We need to rapidly built up our defensive capability as the times are becoming very unpredictable. We need to prepare for possibility of bad times.

We also see rapid shifts in status quo worldwide , probably due to globalization and technological advancements pressures. Compounded with climate change this is also creating added uncertainty that is hard to predict. North Korea is also ratcheting up the stakes to unheard of levels.
Something is going to pop sooner or later in the region. North Korea may be set it off.

I think he puts Taiwan in a stable position where Taiwan and US are no longer self-confined to a One China. Taiwan and US can now have normal relations (regardless of statehood) and many other countries will get used to it, and follow suit. Eventually China would get used to it like it got used to US troop stationed in South Korea. Remember it wasn’t that long time ago that China sent a million men to Korea to die, twice. China never sent troop to die in Taiwan.

So this is stable.

The old One China framework was designed undermine regional stability bit by bit and inevitably cause war to happen. In the old One China framework Taiwan was exactly a pawn.


So you think Trump is actively working to aupport Taiwan rather than to use the 'one china ’ policy as a bargaining chip during negotiations?

I think Trump sees Taiwan as a valuable asset from which a lot of leverage can be derived. Taiwan produces a lot of bargaining chips, and has the potential of producing even more. And Trump offers a proposition, a kind of joint-venture that is hard for Taiwan to refuse.

When you say Taiwan is a bargaining chip, you imply no leverage can be derived from Taiwan, because a bargaining chip has fixed value, and is traded one-to-one. That’s not the nature of assets. An asset is something that can be leveraged to generate infinite bargaining chips.

If no leverage can be derived from Taiwan, then ask China why it wanted Taiwan in the first place.

Trump the businessman knows that if something is worth a lot to China, then it’s worth a lot to him.

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This doesn’t deal with the issue that trump has no real interest in Taiwan’s freedom or democracy. Therefore in a high stakes game he could easily trade it for something more valuable to his administration.
He already accepted Russia’s de facto control of the Crimea and eastern Ukraine and stated that NATO is useless. China could just try to invade Taiwan quickly to leverage this kind of ‘fair complait’ political game. Then the ‘asset’ becomes no asset at all but a pain in the ass.

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Care to clarify “China does not truly want nor will they benefit from military conflict.” I think this is a strong statement, which has massive implications. I am not confident to assume the statement is true (I hope it is). There are scenarios which China either comes out “neutral” or “ahead” based on the results of conflict. Much of their local population would love a show of force. The Chinese are ready to flex their collective muscle and show the world that they aren’t to be messed with.
I think it’s reasonable to say the CCP does not see peace as the only solution. If war leads to breaking the first island chain and forcing the US to back away from regional dominance, it’s well worth most costs. Also, they have put enough domestic propaganda into making it seem that any action taken on their part is simply to protect and defend Chinese interests, not to antagonize. And if their economic clout is big enough, what do Europe, Africa, and Latin America care about the territory that China claims?


I noticed that, too, and I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m still hoping something good will come out of that phone call.

Compared to what?

It’s more metastable than stable. If China runs into overt local difficulties, they’ll look for a military adventure to unify the sheeple and distract from their own failings. It’s what regimes do.

One China makes no difference to that either way. But for the rest of the world, it’s always good to be free of a delusion.

Now Taiwan has more control over things because the US policy has barely budged over the last 38 years.
But when the US policy changes (and make No mistake we are almost 100% dependent on US Policy for this country’s existence) then we need to WaKE THE FUCK UP because it’s a big deal!
Taiwanese seem to think things won’t change.

It’s an illusion of control. The sooner an illusion dies, the less damage.

That’s assuming they’re really so deluded in the first place.

I don’t think the ambition for territorial expansion, or adventurism to gain bargaining chips, has anything to do with a regime’s domestic performance. There is no correlation.

It’s mostly driven by ideology, revenge, and opportunity.

If you want to predict Trump’s view on Taiwan based on Trump’s view on Crimea, then let’s do this exercise: How is Crimea worth more than Taiwan?

Has US ever had access to Crimea that loosing that access would make Trump feel like it’s a loss? Did US plan to gain access to Crimea and Russia preemptively stole it from US, making Trump feel like he lost something?


While I concur, I don’t think Hilary Clinton had any real interest in Taiwan’s freedom or democracy either, as is/was the case of Obama, Bush, another Clinton, and the ones before him whom I have no idea who they are.

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No they didn’t it’s true except for maybe bill Clinton.
But they were certainly attached to the status quo and not losing influence in the region. Trump isn’t. Right now he’s making lots of noises but you know he’ll sell us down the river for a ship of gold.
Taiwan needs to really work the members of congress as a back up plan . Unfortunately the US is Taiwan’s only real ally.

Trump looks like he’s angling to use Taiwan as a pawn in negotiations with the Chinese.

This sounds too much like Obama or Clinton in general…and let’s not forget that it was Carter who sold out Taiwan to China in 1979. Presidents after that just went along because there’s an unwritten rule, your not supposed to disrespect a president’s legacy whether or not you agree, so US had to always follow Carter’s stupidity in recognizing Beijing as “One China.”

Trump is different. Being a businessman, he sees through all the enigma surrounding this political fiction and perhaps will start moving in a direction to blow it to smithereens if the opportunity affords itself. Trump said he sees no reason why another country should prevent him talking to a leader in another country. That is tantamount to tacitly admitting Taiwan is a country. It may be uncouth to establishment polititicians, but practically speaking, that is reality. I hope he succeeds.

In 1979, the Democrat Congress were so incensed at Democrat Carter for selling out Taiwan by recognizing Beijing, that they drew up the Taiwan Relations Act to protect Taiwan and it’s democracy from China coming in and taking their “possession” since Carter seemed so ostensibly to agree. It necessarily involves the USA in military conflict should China invade the island – it’s our law. I was always afraid that Obama, being chief executive would ignore it if it got down to brass tacks. This is why US always gets upset when Taiwan strays too much from one-China.

True, Trump himself has said himself he would use the issue for economic bargaining, but how would he sell out Taiwan exactly? The worst he could do is just cool it, back down and not use the issue if China proves compliant, which makes him equal to what other presidents have (or rather haven’t) done. Have they sold out Taiwan? But if China proves difficult, I think he would rather enjoy using the issue to reconcile the fiction with reality…with what makes sense in a real world.

From the American standpoint, I’m not sure why Trump should care about Taiwan’s interests more than America’s interests. It might be that it is actually in America’s long term interests to keep Taiwan free from China, but that’s not the argument being advanced here. An American president should think about America, not foreign nations or the opinions of expats therein.

Surely the past decade and a half have demonstrated that foreign entanglements, military adventurism, nation building and jingoism surrounding “democracy” and “freedom” have been a complete failure, if they were ever about anything other than advancing the agenda and fortunes of a small cabal. Trump is right to break from the neo-con agenda in this regard.

Maybe it is about time that people around the world start pulling their own weight militarily also.

As for Crimea, it is considerably more complex than people are making it out to be. It historically was not Ukrainian, the people there are ethnically Russian, and they voted to be part of Russia. Funny when the right kind of people (e.g. Scottish nationalists, Taiwanese, Californians/#notmypresident) want to secede, a lot of people are all for it.

It is in any country interest that her rival does not expand in the general direction toward her border. In between Taiwan and Guam, there’s nothing but ocean. There is a reason why US made Guam her territory. And it is the identical reason why China wants Taiwan.

So with regard to US, it all boils down to whether US considers China an ally of US, or a rival of US. Which one do you base your argument on.

Of course in the 1970s US was hoping China could eventually become an US ally like Japan, and could help US bring down the No.1 rival political - the Soviet Union.

What happened to the 70s will happen again (because of realpolitik) only this time China is the Soviet Union.

The US didn’t occupy Guam because of China. The US got Guam at the end of the Spanish-American War.

I did not mean to imply US got Guam from China or because of China. I was referring to the desire of an empire to expand territorially in order to gain access and other advantages.

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