The only thing keeping US and China from war is running dangerously thin, by Scott Ritter

When China concludes there’s no hope of a negotiated or otherwise peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue, it will probably invade the island and just get it over with. From Scott Ritter at

Washington’s ambiguous Taiwan policies are edging towards conflict, but Beijing wants to exhaust peaceful options first

American relations with China in regards to Taiwan have been dictated by years of ambiguous statements and commitments. Now this rhetoric is breaking down and armed conflict seems closer than ever – but is Washington ready to fight over Taiwan, or capable of winning?

Assurances and commitments

Officially, US policy toward Taiwan is guided by three US-China Joint Communiques issued between 1972 and 1982, the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, and the so-called “Six Assurances” issued in 1982. In the Shanghai Communique of 1972, China asserted that “the Taiwan question is the crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations between China and the United States,” declaring that “the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China,” that Taiwan is a province of China, and that “the liberation of Taiwan is China’s internal affair in which no other country has the right to interfere.”

The US responded by acknowledging that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China,” something the US government did not challenge. The US also reaffirmed its interest “in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.”

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