Anxiety about China’s growing military capabilities to threaten Taiwan has induced alarm in Washington about whether the United States is capable of deterring attempts to seize Taiwan by force. This alarm feeds American impulses to alter longstanding policy, and to view challenges confronting Taiwan through a military lens. While Taiwan clearly is under growing military threat, it also is facing an intensifying Chinese political campaign to wear down the will of the Taiwan people. Ryan Hass, Richard Bush, and Bonnie Glaser argue in U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Will China’s Challenge Lead to a Crisis? that discussions of the future of Taiwan should focus on the island’s 23 million people.
In an interview conducted on September 14, 2023, Richard Bush and Bonnie Glaser contend that conflict in the Taiwan Strait is not inevitable, and that it would be foolish for the United States to conclude that it is unavoidable.