In Search of Monsters — Taiwan, The World Class Puzzle

This week’s focus on In Search of Monsters is Taiwan. Today, it’s a puzzle with moving parts: a nation of 24 million people that has two jealous imperial sponsors—the giants US and China, heading toward their own historic breakdown in relations. Taiwan represents a success story, transforming into a prosperous democracy since the late 1980s. But the deepest truth about Taiwan, some say, is that it’s a problem that cannot be solved, but merely managed. The question then becomes how to keep Taiwan from becoming Ukraine: the lost province that a great power decided it had to recover by force.

For answers, host Chris Lydon speaks with five individuals: QI Research Fellow Jake Werner, Senator Ed Markey, and professors Lev Nachman, Shelley Rigger, and Wen Liu. They comment on the progressive escalation of tensions between China and the United States vis a vis Taiwan, the prospects for the preservation of a policy of strategic ambiguity, and other elements of the Taiwan conundrum.

Listen to the full episode here:

Additionally, check out these related resources:

• China and Russia Are Not Mirror Images – Jake Werner in The Nation, October 17th, 2022

Biden trashes what remained of US One China policy, strategic ambiguity – QI East Asia Director Michael Swaine in Responsible Statecraft, September 23rd, 2022.

Senator Ed Markey’s Statement on the Passage of the Taiwan Policy Act – September 14th, 2022

Active Denial: A Roadmap to a More Effective, Stabilizing, and Sustainable U.S. Defense Strategy in Asia – Quincy Institute Report, June 22nd, 2022.