China’s Communist Party is deep into preparations for its 20th party Congress that begins October 16th in Beijing, where expert observers are expecting President Xi Jinping to be confirmed for an unprecedented third five-year term.
Xi is also expected to announce his new leadership team that will execute on the party’s agenda. And it’s safe to say that near or at the top of that Agenda is the issue of Taiwan.
For context: When it comes to US policy, Washington’s official stance is that Taiwan is in fact, part of China and that if reunification occurs, it must be through a peaceful reunification. Beijing, meanwhile, sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be reunified, and has not rule out use of force to do so.
Washington is bolstering Taiwanese defenses in the event that Beijing grows impatient and makes the strategic decision to reunify the island by force.
So, diplomatically, the US recognizes one Chinese government yet Washington treats Taiwan like an independent nation when it comes to diplomatic engagement and military support. That’s the reason why China took such offense to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taipei.
Today’s guest agrees that the U.S.’ One China Policy presents a complicated engagement strategy. How did we get here? And what is the likelihood that the world’s two most powerful nations could come to blows over Taiwan?
Ambassador Joe DeTrani has focued much of his career on China. He is not only a former Special Envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea, he is also a former director of East Asia Operations at the CIA.
In this episode, Cipher Brief COO Brad Christian sits down with Ambassador DeTrani to unpack the US’ One China Policy.