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International Diplomacy

  • U.S. Navy vessels in the Philippine Sea, November, 2018, photo by MC2 Kaila V. Peters/U.S. Navy
    Taiwan

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    Ambiguity Has Its Uses

    Michael J. Mazarr

    Sep 24, 2020

    Foreign Affairs

    As China's thirst to resolve the Taiwan issue intensifies, the United States' halfhearted commitment to the island will become increasingly perilous: too weak to deter Chinese aggression but strong enough to drag the United States into a war. No U.S. approach to Taiwan will offer a perfect guarantee of peace. But the United States has many options short of the provocative, costly, and diplomatically risky step of an unconditional security pledge.

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