The Us Factor: Investigating The China-Taiwan Legitimacy Crisis

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Ahsan Ul Haq
Taimoor Shehzad


Historical analysis of the “One China” policy, its development and the subsequent legitimacy crisis between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (ROC) provides the background for analyzing the position and actions of the United States in this process. This paper highlights the centrality of the US role in stabilizing this complex crisis that includes the political, military, and economic engagements. It moves further and starts with the historical background
of the current political scenario which means that the paper looks into the so-called ‘One China’ policy or the Taiwan Relations Act and the Shanghai Communique where the US policy regarding China and Taiwan is explained comprehensively. Interestingly, it explains Taiwan’s plea for de jure independence and its implication on the legitimacy crisis. Also, the paper explains the policy of reunification adopted by the PRC and on the other hand, the policy of strategic ambiguity of the US to determine their effectiveness in preventing conflict and map the future action plans between the two countries. Moving to the military arena, the discussion focuses on the increased military assertiveness of China and Taiwan, which contributes to the reinforcement of the analytical claim that military bids intensify the legitimacy crisis. Integral to this discussion is the analysis of the current state of affairs regarding arms sales from United States to Taiwan and the effect on the balance of power within the Asia Pacific region, the possible future contingency plans for military confrontation and the strategic plans of United States in case of contingency planning of a conflict situation. Instead, the paper shifts to examine the economic analysis of the relations between the United States, China, and Taiwan. It identifies how economic relations work as both enabling and disabling concerns in the legitimacy crisis and provides information on how economical pressure can be applied in the regulation of behaviors within the context of primarily an economic sanction for the probable negative economic consequences of a Taiwan straits confrontation. Analyzing and discussing the aforementioned issues, this paper not only assesses the effectiveness of the US’s balancing strategy but also reveals the potential challenges and possible benefits of the conception’s implementation. Thus, the paper enlightens different possibilities and their implications if to consider the situation, and helps to deepen the understandings of the US on how to manage the China-Taiwan legitimacy crisis and other issues, which all are significant to shape a stable region and promote international relations.
Keywords: US Factor, China-Taiwan Crisis, Military, Political, Economic

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