With presidential elections looming in Taiwan, Dan Twining of the German Marshall Fund has a trenchant article in Foreign Policy about why it’s important for the U.S. to remain committed to Taiwan’s defense even at the cost of alienating the far-bigger and richer People’s Republic of China. He argues:
First, cutting off an old U.S. ally at a time of rising tensions with an assertive China might do less to appease Beijing than to encourage its hopes to bully the United States into a further retreat from its commitments in East Asia. Second, it would transform the calculus of old American allies, like South Korea and Australia, who might plausibly wonder whether the U.S. commitment to their security is as flexible as it was towards Taiwan.
The whole article is, as they say, worth reading–and remembering the next time you hear the appeals of faux-realists who argue in favor of dumping a tiny democracy of 23 million people to improve relations with a dictatorship that rules more than 1.3 billion people.