pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #50 – Illusions, Misperceptions, and Political Spin in Taipei

In Washington there is concern that mixed messages to Taipei from within the administration, Congress, think tanks and paid consultants may be creating confusion about U.S. policy toward Taiwan. A four-day visit to Taipei in early December confirmed that U.S. policy is being seen through politically tinted lenses and transmitted to the public by a bewildering array of official spin-masters, party-affiliated papers, six 24-hour news channels, and more than a dozen political talk shows. While some seasoned analysts have an accurate reading of U.S. policy, the politically charged presidential election campaign is occasioning some serious illusions and misperceptions of U.S. policy.