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PacNet #8 – Promoting Cross-Strait Stability, Avoiding Catastrophe

While U.S. policymakers and the U.S. public are focused on incipient nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea, a far more subtle challenge to U.S. national security interests involving an established nuclear power looms elsewhere. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan are apparently determined to measure up to Abba Eban’s famous quip about Palestinians: they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. While both claim to embrace creative and flexible approaches to their relations, in fact each insists on rigid, mutually incompatible demands that promise not only to squander chances to improve cross-Strait ties, but to actually blunder into an escalation of tensions. If so, this would also threaten vital U.S. national security interests.