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How to Solve the ‘Taiwan Problem’ in the U.S.-China Relations

Jun 18 , 2015

This quotation, written by Chas Freeman–along with Henry Kissinger, perhaps America’s most successful and respected diplomat-scholar on the U.S.-China relationship–introduces a chapter entitled “Imagine–The Taiwan Question and U.S. China-Relations” in U.S. Naval War College Assistant Professor Lyle J. Goldstein’s scintillating and titillating new book, Meeting China Halfway–How to Defuse the Emerging U.S.-China Rivalry.

Anyone following current affairs in Taiwan will be aware that “successful management of the Taiwan problem”–from the perspectives of the United States, China, and Taiwan itself–is about to become more difficult and fraught with danger than at any time since 1995-96, and possibly since 1949.

The 1995-96 crisis erupted with Chinese protests at a visit to the U.S. by Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui, followed by Chinese missile tests in the Taiwan Strait, followed by President Bill Clinton’s deployment to the Western Pacific of, as described by James Mann and quoted by Goldstein, the “largest armada since the end of the Vietnam War.”

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