For decades, the United States has maintained a stance of “strategic ambiguity” with regard to the Taiwan Strait. Although the Taiwan Relations Act states that the US would provide Taiwan with defense articles and services to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, the US refrains from officially declaring whether it would intervene in Taiwan's defense in the event of a Chinese attack, leaving room for speculation from both Taiwan and China. While some experts view this as a strategy to achieve "dual deterrence," preventing unilateral changes in the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, it is contended that the lack of clarity regarding the US security commitment to Taiwan may either lead to miscalculate US resolve or undermine US credibility. Consequently, the US needs to implement policies aiming at reaffirming its commitment to Taiwan when necessary. This study presents survey findings from nationally representative samples to systematically show how the Taiwanese perceive US credibility and how they evaluate different US foreign policies toward Taiwan in terms of ensuring Taiwan’s national security.
Dr. Wen-Chin Wu is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica in Taiwan. His research focuses on comparative and international political economy, comparative authoritarianism, and Chinese politics. He received his B.A. from National Chengchi University (NCCU), M.A. from NCCU and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. During the 2019-20 academic year, he was a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute at Harvard University. Currently, he also serves as the coordinator of the Institute for Social Science Methodology, and the executive editor of the Chinese Political Science Review.
This talk is part of the 2023-2024 Illinois Global Institute "China and the World" Series.
Hosted by: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, and the Department of Political Science | Co-sponsored by: Illinois Global Institute, Center for African Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Program in Arms Control and Domestic and International Security; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program.