Taiwan became the primary stronghold of the Republic of China following the Communist party's rise in mainland China in 1949. RAND has analyzed shifts in U.S. diplomatic and military policy toward Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) over the decades and, in recent years, has examined Taiwan's rapid economic development, gradual political liberalization, and efforts to achieve independence from the PRC.

  • Report

    Could Taiwan Fend Off a Chinese Attack?

    China's growing military advantage suggests that, even with major improvements to Taiwan's defenses, U.S. intervention will be necessary to deter or defeat an attack by China. Changes in aspects of Taiwan's political leadership and social cohesion offer the surest path for developing the island's capacity to resist a large-scale attack.

    Jun 27, 2023

  • Commentary

    Why Taiwan's Voters Defied Beijing—Again

    With a third Democratic Progressive Party presidential victory in Taiwan, relations with China will only get worse. Democratic consolidation could be important in helping the island resist gray-zone coercion by the mainland.

    Jan 15, 2024

Explore Taiwan

  • NATO military personnel test an unmanned surface vehicle during exercise Baltic Operations 2023 in the Baltic Sea, June 23, 2023, photo by Jan Eenling/U.S. Navy


    What Chinese Navy Planners Are Learning from Ukraine's Use of Unmanned Surface Vessels

    The continued success of Ukrainian unmanned surface vessel (USV) attacks on Russian naval facilities and warships has kept USVs in the defense analytical spotlight and naval analysts around the world, particularly those in China, are taking note.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te and his running mate Hsiao Bi-khim wave as they hold a press conference after winning the elections, in Taipei, Taiwan, January 13, 2024, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Xi's Cross-Strait Policy in the "New Era"

    The January 2024 election of Lai Ching-te (William Lai) as president of Taiwan will likely make the Taiwan Strait an increasingly tense and dangerous environment, with potentially significant consequences for U.S. policy and strategy.

    Apr 3, 2024

  • The destroyer USS Chung-Hoon observes the Chinese navy destroyer Luyang III executing unsafe maneuvers as the U.S. ship was conducting a routine Taiwan Strait transit, June 3, 2023, photo by Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy


    Countering China’s Military Strategy in the Indo-Pacific Region

    How can the U.S. military present combat-credible capabilities, forces, and posture that sow doubt in the minds of China's leaders about their ability to prevail in a conflict with the United States?

    Mar 21, 2024

  • David Ochmanek at the West Coast Aerospace Forum, December 2019, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND


    A New Approach for the U.S. Armed Forces: Q&A with David Ochmanek

    The United States and its allies have a window of opportunity to bolster their security and prepare for the global challenges to come. But it's closing fast as China and other adversaries build up their own militaries. Business as usual is no longer sufficient.

    Mar 13, 2024

  • RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny in Washington, D.C., October 7, 2022, photo by Jason Dixson Photography


    Tech, National Security, and China: Q&A with Jason Matheny

    Jason Matheny is one of the nation's leading experts on the interplay between technology and national security. In this Q&A, he discusses semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and the future of foreign investment in the United States.

    Mar 8, 2024

  • Lt. Heather Brown communicates with allies aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon during a Taiwan Strait transit, June 3, 2023, photo by MC1 Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy


    Private-Sector Innovation Could Help Defend Taiwan

    In the event that China invades Taiwan, there are technological solutions that could be deployed quickly—before 2027—and that have the potential to make a game-changing impact on the ability of the United States and Taiwan to defend against aggression.

    Mar 5, 2024

  • A collage showing a Soviet nuclear ballistic missile in Red Square, Moscow; a Soviet ship using a water cannon against a Chinese fisherman on the Ussuri River, May 6, 1969; and a U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft launching from the flight deck of the USS Independence, March 10, 1996, photos by CIA, China Photo Service/Dutch National Archives, and U.S. Navy


    Managing Escalation Between Nuclear-Armed Powers

    The return of great-power competition and the war in Ukraine have highlighted the stark risks of conflict with nuclear-armed rivals. What lessons can be learned from historical cases that could help identify adversary thresholds and manage escalation during a potential crisis?

    Feb 22, 2024

  • A retired military tank on the beach with China in the background in Kinmen, Taiwan, December 20, 2023, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters


    Scared Strait

    The foundations of the longstanding U.S. approach to Taiwan-China relations are crumbling in the face of growing Chinese military power and aggression. Washington can no longer rely on its existing policies in the hopes that what worked in the past will succeed in the future.

    Feb 22, 2024

  • Chinese Navy personnel wait to attend a welcoming ceremony for South Korea's guided missile frigate ROKS Gyeonggi at Qingdao Port for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Chinese PLA Navy, in Qingdao, China, April 21, 2019, photo by Jason Lee/Reuters


    U.S. Military Theories of Victory for a Potential War with China

    In the case of a hypothetical U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan, how might the United States prevail while also avoiding catastrophic escalation of the war?

    Feb 21, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Autocrat's Predicament: The Political Peril of Economic Upgrade in Single-Party Authoritarian Regimes

    In their quest for national revival, China's leaders under Xi Jinping have sought to improve the economy's performance. The disappointing economic record of authoritarian regimes provides ample grounds for doubt, yet not all have failed. Why have some succeeded where most did not?

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Report


    U.S.-Japan Alliance Conference: The U.S.-Japan Alliance in an Era of Strategic Competition

    These proceedings present insights that experts of Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and U.S. security policies presented at RAND Corporation–hosted virtual conferences that explored relevant issues on the U.S.-Japan alliance regarding strategic competition.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Multimedia


    A New Approach to Power Projection: Reversing the Erosion of U.S. and Allied Military Power and Influence

    The RAND National Security Research Division hosted a discussion focused on emerging approaches to projecting power against the United States' most capable adversaries and the implications of these new approaches for defense planning.

    Nov 14, 2023

  • A loitering munition UAV on display as Taiwan's Defence Ministry showcases its domestically developed drones to the media in Taichung, Taiwan, March 14, 2023, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters


    Chinese Strategists Evaluate the Use of 'Kamikaze' Drones in the Russia-Ukraine War

    Both Russia and Ukraine have used loitering munitions successfully in the current war, and China is watching closely. Chinese strategists are likely already considering how to refine offensive tactics and improve defensive countermeasures in the context of a Taiwan scenario.

    Nov 7, 2023

  • Map of East Asia with China filled with the flag of China and Taiwan filled with the blue background and white sun from the flag of Taiwan, image by Olga Dubrovina/Getty Images


    Lessons from the Chinese Conquest of Taiwan

    As Chinese political and military leaders envision conquering Taiwan, their predecessors' earlier seizure of the island is likely to inform their thoughts. Deriving lessons from the prior conquest of Taiwan can contribute to anticipation of possible threats and effective responses to them.

    Oct 26, 2023

  • A soldier from the mine disposal unit prepares to search for landmines along a coast in Kinmen, Taiwan, May 18, 2009, photo by Pichi Chuang/Reuters


    Landmines in Ukraine: Lessons for China and Taiwan

    In shaping patterns of future warfare, militaries across the world will be seeking to absorb the key lessons of the Russia-Ukraine War. Chinese strategists are particularly attuned to the major role that landmines have played in the conflict.

    Sep 26, 2023

  • Soldiers stand in formation as Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visits a military base in Chiayi, Taiwan, March 25, 2023, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters


    The Strawman Defense Is Torching Taiwan's Military

    There are many reasons why the political future of Taiwan Strait relations is uncertain, but the military considerations for Taiwan are much more straightforward. Taiwan should invest in capabilities that are highly survivable and potent against a potential attack from mainland China.

    Sep 15, 2023

  • Illustration of a puppet master controlling social media symbols, image by rudall30/Getty Images


    U.S. Adversaries Can Use Generative AI for Social Media Manipulation

    Using generative artificial intelligence technology, U.S. adversaries can manufacture fake social media accounts that seem real. These accounts can be used to advance narratives that serve the interests of those governments and pose a direct challenge to democracies. U.S. government, technology, and policy communities should act fast to counter this threat.

    Sep 7, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    The State of Public Education, the Opioid Crisis, Defending Taiwan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the state of public education in America right now, a missing piece of the strategy for addressing the opioid crisis, emerging technology that could help defend Taiwan, and more.

    Sep 1, 2023

  • Footage released by Russia Ministry of Defense on March 9, 2022 allegedly shows convoy of Russia Armed Forces combat and logistic vehicles in an undisclosed area in Ukraine, photo by EyePress News/Reuters


    China Ponders Russia's Logistical Challenges in the Ukraine War

    Any attempt by China to use military force to seize Taiwan would be an immense logistical undertaking requiring moving large quantities of troops and materiel across the Taiwan Strait. What then, are Chinese observers learning from the logistical realm of the war in Ukraine?

    Aug 28, 2023